Houston, LA, Detroit Among US Cities Where Pandemic Life For Working-Poor Is Hardest
While some financial experts are increasingly hopeful the US economy will soar in 2021 due to vaccine rollouts, stimulus, and pent-up demand, there is still tremendous pandemic stress emanating across multiple large metro areas.
Bloomberg analysis of the latest Census Bureau data shows Houston, Los Angeles, and Detroit received a low score by households, suggesting their overall economic situation continues to deteriorate.
The Census research was carried out between Feb. 3-15, asked households in numerous metro areas across the US five questions about daily expenses, jobs, and food and housing security.
The survey found Houston-The Woodland-Sugar Land, Texas; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California; and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan, had some of the worst conditions for households.
On the flip side, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, and San Francisco had improving economic conditions for households in the first half of February.
Bloomberg noted an overwhelming number of respondents in Houston suffered from housing insecurity. Food insecurity was high in Miami, and eviction or foreclosure was likely to soar in Atlanta in the coming months.
In Houston, by contrast, fewer than four in ten households are in a position where telework is an option. The city ranked worst for the share of residents able to meet daily household expenses — more than 2.3 million out of a 5.3 population had difficulty doing so and housing payments.
According to the bureau’s survey, food insecurity was most acute in Miami, where almost 700,000 people didn’t have enough to eat during the previous week. Among people who fell behind on mortgage or rent payments, anxiety about losing their home was highest in Atlanta, where 42% said that eviction or foreclosure by May was likely. – Bloomberg
This is just more evidence that the economic recovery since COVID-19 began wreaking havoc in early 2020 has been widely uneven, even after the Federal Reserve and federal government pumped trillions of dollars into the economy and financial markets.
The unevenness in the recovery has been coined as the „K-shaped“ recovery as the top 10% of Americans were widely unaffected by the pandemic downturn. Still, the working-poor were battered and crushed under the weight of unpaid bills, job loss, insurmountable debt(s), food, and housing insecurity.
A complete recovery this year is a myth – the economy is deeply scarred – and no matter how much helicopter money the Fed and federal government throw at corporations and working-poor – there needs to be real reform and restructuring, which will take years.
… and to make matters worse, a perfect storm of stagflation could be developing that may result in additional downward pressure for consumers.