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For many in NC, the economic picture remains bleak

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, North Carolina families continue to face difficulty making ends meet. The U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey provides insight into how different groups of people are faring.
The data show that millions of North Carolinians are finding it difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. Black people and multiracial people reported the greatest level of difficulty, with 27 percent and 25 percent respectively finding it very difficult to afford the basics. Asian people reported the least difficulty, as only 4 percent reported that it was very difficult to pay for usual expenses.

White and Latinx people reported similar levels of extreme difficulty , but nearly twice the percentage of Latinx people reported it was somewhat difficult to pay for household expenses as their white counterparts.

Women, 36 percent of whom reported it was either somewhat or very difficult to make ends meet, are facing more hardship than men, 22 percent of whom fell into the same category.

This data suggests that the economic inequality that existed before the pandemic will likely continue to widen unless swift and robust action is taken to address persistent disparities. People of every gender, race, and ethnicity deserve the dignity and quality of life that is only possible when we achieve economic security for all.

Leila Pedersen is a policy analyst with the N.C. Budget & Tax Center.

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