budget
Close-up of a Calculator and Pen on a Financial Newspaper. Blue-toned.

At least half of the households in the four largest cities in the United States have experienced job losses or salary cuts since the outbreak of COVID-19, feeling much financial pain, a poll said.

A large portion of financial problems is concentrated among households from minority groups, specifically Black and Latino ones, in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, according to the poll published Wednesday by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with responses gathered from July 1 to August 3.

Houston stood out in the surveyed cities, with 77 percent of Latino households and 81 percent of Black households reporting grave financial problems since the onset of the pandemic. Of Latino families, 63 to 73 percent reported the same suffering in the other three cities, along with 52 to 69 percent of Black families.

“Before federal coronavirus support programs even expired, we find millions of people with serious problems with their finances,” said Robert J. Blendon, poll co-director and executive director of the Havard Opinion Research Program at the Havard Chan School, adding that things are getting worse because there is nothing for households earning less than 100,000 U.S. dollars annually to fall back on.

Serious child care and health care problems were also found in the poll.

Nearly 60 percent of households with children in Los Angeles reported having caregiving problems during the pandemic, including difficulties of finding places with enough social distancing for physical activities, keeping children’s education going, etc.

Households, ranging from 19 percent to 27 percent, in the four cities had no access to medical care or had delayed medical care in need, while over half said this had led to severe health consequences, due to medical resources focused on treating COVID-19, the poll said.

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