While the economy is gradually rebounding, a new poll found that some Black people are still struggling. According to the November Temperature Check Poll from Black to the Future Action Fund, 42 percent of Black adults described their financial situation as “bad.” And one-third of respondents reported their financial situations have worsened.
Partnering with Socioanlaítica Research, Black to the Future Action Fund published its first temperature check poll in July. The national survey seeks to engage Black people about pressing issues and their impact on their families and communities.
Other significant findings from the November poll include that 52 percent of Black adults polled were satisfied with the country’s direction. Still, an almost equal amount, 54 percent, were dissatisfied with the current state of the economy.
While the percentage of people behind in either rent or mortgage declined since September, the poll reflected an increase in people “not confident” in their ability to make the next payment on time. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they weren’t sure about making timely payments, up from 54 percent in September.
But Black workers and their families have seen some reprieve this year with the updated child tax credit. Allowing parents to receive the child tax credit as a monthly cash payment has improved family finances and led to significant decreases in child poverty.
Last month, Chalkbeat reported parents spending money on regular household expenses, with food being the most commonly bought item. With increased costs hitting many families hard, the additional money has been needed boost.
Unfortunately, the credit is set to expire if the Build Back Better Act is not passed in the Senate by the end of the month. Millions of families have benefited from the monthly tax payments, which started in July.
Passed originally as a part of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, CBS reported the child tax credit needs to be passed by December 28 for payments to be made on time in January. The Build Back Better Act was previously passed in the House and is awaiting action in the Senate. The bill would extend the child tax credit for another year if it passed.
As previously reported by NewsOne, provisions for job training and workforce development could also benefit Black workers. A new report from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies also noted the importance of the earned income tax credit for childless workers. Like the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit was temporarily expanded for 2021 but could be extended with the passage of the Build Back Better Act. Beyond the one-year extension proposed in the Build Back Better Act, the Joint Center suggests Congress consider making changes permanent and also lowering the age of eligibility so workers 18-24 would be eligible for the benefit.