We draw on new high frequency survey data collected from repeated cross-sections of Americans over the period June 2020 through October 2020. These data capture rich measures of household financial fragility and employment status. We find no evidence of an economic recovery in household finances as of October of 2020.
In fact, by some measures, we find evidence of a building “second wave” of negative shocks to household finances and of growing inequality in financial fragility by household income, educational attainment, and gender from August to September/October of 2020. Finally, using difference-in-difference models, we estimate that the expiration of the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits, which augmented unemployment insurance by $600 a week, significantly increased the financial fragility of unemployed workers in America.
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