Skip to main content

Elk Grove Citizen

Census Bureau Reveals Which Workers Are Hardest Hit by COVID-19

Jul 22, 2020 12:00AM ● By United States Census Bureau Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (MPG) - Self-employed workers in states where businesses are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are more likely to face economic hardships, according to new findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household and Small Business Pulse surveys.

Creating jobs and running small businesses are just a couple of examples of the vital roles self-employed workers play in the U.S. economy.

Economic uncertainty related to COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for self-employed workers, from temporary closures to revenue losses.

We combined results from two new surveys to shed light on these challenges, using the Small Business Pulse Survey to identify states with businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and demographic data from the Household Pulse Survey.

Self-Employed Hit Harder Where More Businesses Closed Temporarily

In states where business conditions were hardest-hit by COVID-19 (states with 25% or more of businesses temporarily closed for one day or more), 13.9% of self-employed workers received free groceries or a free meal during the last seven days from sources such as food banks, religious organizations, community programs, or family, friends or neighbors.

In contrast, 8.7% of non-self-employed workers in these states received free meals.

In the least-affected states (those where 10% or less businesses temporarily closed for one day or more), there was no statistical difference by self-employment status in the rate of those receiving free groceries or a free meal.

Self-employed workers in the hardest-hit states reported either “sometimes not having enough to eat” or “often not having enough to eat” 5.9% of the time in the past week, which is not statistically different from the rate reported by other workers in these states.

Similarly, there was no statistical difference in food insufficiency by self-employment status in states least affected by the pandemic.