Federal Reserve Survey: Despite Improvements, 31 Percent Still "Struggling to Get By"

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 10, 2016
EmptyWalletA survey from the U.S. Federal Reserve has found that people's economic well-being has improved since last year, yet a sizable portion of the country continues to struggle. The survey, which polled 50,000 random adults across the country, found that 69 percent of people are either either living comfortably or, at least, "doing okay," a four percent increase from the 2014 survey results. However, 31 percent of people said that they are either "just getting by" or "struggling to get by," which the Fed extrapolates out to mean 71 million people in the United States.

Related, the Fed found that 22 percent of employed adults are either working multiple jobs, doing informal work for pay in addition to their main job, or both. People are also slightly less optimistic about their economic futures than they were last year, with 23 percent saying they expect their income to be higher in a year, versus 29 percent in 2014. This could be related to another survey finding: 23 percent of adults say their income varies from month to month, and of these people, 43 percent say this volatility makes paying bills a struggle. 

Also, slightly less than half of people in the U.S., 46 percent, say they could not handle an emergency expense of $400 or more without either selling something or borrowing money. 

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