May 26, 2021 - Economy

Worries about job losses are decreasing

Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Worries about job losses and/or having hours cut and losing income are decreasing across the board but inequality ticked up in May, according to the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.

How it works: The values of the index answer the question, "How differently are U.S. adults with annual incomes below $50,000, between $50,000 and $100,000, and over $100,000 experiencing the economy?"

  • The higher the index value, the more differently adults across the income spectrum are experiencing the economy.

What happened: This data is based on survey respondents' answers to the question, "Do you expect that you will experience a loss of employment income in the next 4 weeks?"

How to read it: "The values are represented as standard deviation across income groups for the monthly averages for each, so the graph represents the differences among the income groups with regard to expectations of pay loss since April 2020," Morning Consult chief economist John Leer explains.

  • In essence, a higher number means worries of job or income loss are rising more for lower-paid workers than they are for those with higher wages.

The big picture: "Middle- and low-income workers finance most of their purchases, if not all of them, through wages from working, so getting the jobs recovery up and running is just going to be absolutely paramount, both for the economic recovery and for making sure that it’s broad-based."

Go deeper: Inequality decreased for most of 2021 but picked up in May, index shows

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