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Household Finances in US – 44 Percent could not cover an unexpected $400 emergency expense Fed finds

The report, based on the Board’s fourth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking conducted in October 2016, presents a picture of improving financial well-being among Americans. Overall, 70 percent of respondents said they were either “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” up 1 percentage point from 2015 and up 8 percentage points from the first survey results in 2013. The improvements in well-being as reported by the survey respondents are concentrated among adults with at least some college education.

“The survey findings remind us that many American households are struggling financially, including fully 40 percent of those with a high school diploma or less,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard. “More broadly, 44 percent of all respondents could not cover an unexpected $400 emergency expense or would rely on borrowing or selling something to do so. The survey also shows that many adults have no savings for retirement.

Employment, Multiple Jobs, and Informal Work

Employment conditions, including work scheduling and employee benefits, vary across the workforce. In addition to earnings from formal jobs, a sizeable minority of adults earn money through other informal activities.
• Seventeen percent of workers have a schedule that varies based on their employer’s needs, and just over half of those with a varying work schedule are usually assigned their schedule three days in advance or less.
• Seventy-six percent of full-time workers are offered paid sick leave, compared to 27 percent of part-time workers and 8 percent of contract workerswho are offered this benefit.
• In addition to any formal employment they may have, 28 percent of all adults report that their family earned money from informal income-generating activities in the month before the survey.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Fed – Federal Reserve Board issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households


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