LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A poll conducted by Harvard University and other partners found that most Los Angeles city households have been facing financial problems throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Considering the partial shutdown of many industries, it’s unsurprising that families have been struggling to make ends meet.
About 56% of households in L.A. said they had financial problems during the pandemic, including 64% of households with annual incomes below $100,000.
Echoing other data showing disparities in coronavirus impact on Latinx and Black communities, the poll shows that 71% and 52% of those groups polled in L.A., respectively, reported “serious financial problems.”
In L.A., 37% of White households reported serious financial issues during the pandemic.
New York, Houston and Chicago also had similar polling results, with the heaviest effect of coronavirus being felt by Black and Latinx households.
As for changes in employment during the outbreak, 61% of households in Los Angeles said adult household members have been let go from their jobs, had pay or hours reduced, or were furloughed since the start of the pandemic.
Black and Latinx residents and those living in lower-income neighborhoods have been among those hit hardest by the virus in Los Angeles County. Officials say partly why Black and Latinx residents, and people living in lower-income communities, have been hit so hard by the virus in L.A. County is due to limited testing availability among other factors.
“These results are absolutely devastating and represent real people whose lives have been lost,” county health director Barbara Ferrer said previously in a statement about coronavirus disparities. “They also starkly show how inequities have a life and death consequence.”
“The very real impact of the injustices plays out every day with the news I share with you and amplifies why racism is a public health issue. The disproportionately higher number of deaths from COVID-19 among black and brown people is an indication of the impact of racism and discrimination on health and well-being,” she said.
As schools and employers continue to utilize remote learning, residents are also facing issues with their internet connection.
In L.A., 54% of households with children said they either don’t have a high-speed internet connection at home, or they’re having serious problems connecting to the internet for work or school.
According to the poll, 69% of households with children in the city have also reported issues caring for their children during the pandemic related to “keeping children’s education going, helping children adjust to major life changes, finding childcare while working, and finding space for children to get physical activity while maintaining a safe distance from others.”
The poll was a joint effort between the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Public Radio. Additional details on the findings are available here.