The economic shutdown due to the pandemic has been hard on many people. Unemployment shot higher, reaching 20% when including people who were furloughed but answered the questions incorrectly. Today we have 29.3 million people claiming continued unemployment benefits.
Those are tough numbers, but they still show that 80% of the workforce remained employed at the worst of the downturn, and about 130 million people are still working today. With that said, the economic pain has been centered mostly in urban areas, and according to a new survey by NPR, New York City has taken it hard.
The survey shows that half the households in New York City report having lost their jobs been furloughed, or experienced a loss of hours or wages because of the pandemic. More than one-third of the respondents used up all of their savings, while 30% are having trouble paying for their housing and 28% are struggling to pay other bills.
Not surprisingly, almost three quarters of those reporting lost jobs or wages also report having serious financial problems.
And it gets worse.
Because of the tremendous focus on COVID-19 cases and the lockdown on just about everything else, 19% of the households in New York City reported that someone in their household couldn’t get medical care for a serious issue when they needed it, and 59% of those had a negative health consequence because of it.
If you add on top of this the stress of what likely lies ahead for the city – falling property values, higher taxes, fewer city services, and increased mass transit prices – it looks like New York will be a tough place to live for a long time.