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Nearly one-fourth of American households facing layoffs or pay cuts: Census Bureau

Nearly one-fourth of American households facing layoffs or pay cuts: Census Bureau
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Nearly a quarter of Americans expect someone in their household to lose their job or take a pay cut before Election Day and nearly one-third expect to potentially lose their homes within the next two months, according to survey results released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau’s latest edition of the Household Pulse Survey found that 24 percent of Americans expect either themselves or someone they live with to suffer a loss of employment income within four weeks. The survey was conducted Sept. 16-28 through an online questionnaire.

Roughly 32 percent of respondents said it is likely they will be evicted or foreclosed on within the next 60 days despite federal protections meant to prevent a widespread homelessness crisis, and another 6.8 percent said they do not expect to pay their next monthly rent or mortgage payment on time.

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The survey results are the latest window into the deep suffering brought by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the steepest and quickest economic decline since the Great Depression.

While the U.S. has gained back roughly half of the more than 20 million jobs lost to the pandemic, the pace of recovery has slowed significantly since President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE signed a $2.2 trillion economic relief bill in late March. Top economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, have warned that the failure to provide more fiscal relief could derail the economy into another recession.

Trump on Tuesday said he would halt negotiations with Democrats over another massive relief bill before expressing an openness to standalone aid measures in a series tweets later that night. 

“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to the coronavirus stimulus package passed in March. 

A failure to reach a deal before the election could leave millions of Americans struggling to get by and facing financial peril.

Nearly 32 percent of Americans are struggling to pay basic expenses, according to the survey, and another 10.1 percent live in households where there was sometimes or often not enough food to eat.