Ask A Researcher

July 2021

COVID Hardship on North Dakota Households: New study on the impacts on North Dakota households that lost employment income during the pandemic

Kendra Erickson-Dockter is a research specialist with the Center for Social Research (CSR) at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Kendra has been with the Center since 2006 and served as project director of North Dakota Compass from 2013 - 2019. Currently, Kendra provides support for numerous CSR projects, such as North Dakota Compass and North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). Kendra received her master’s degree in Sociology and is a doctoral student in Human Development at NDSU. Ina Cernusca is the project director for North Dakota Compass and a research specialist within the CSR. With extensive experience in market and social research, she has participated in many projects that involved quantitative and qualitative research and outreach activities. Ina earned her MBA from the University of Missouri and worked as a marketing research specialist with the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri prior to moving to North Dakota.

In this article, the authors highlight a new study and the new associated data dashboard developed by North Dakota Compass and the Center for Social Research at NDSU.

The Center for Social Research at North Dakota State University continues to develop new and reliable data resources to help North Dakota organizations and communities in their efforts to respond to the wide-range of challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the previous analysis that explored the impacts of the pandemic on North Dakota households with children, the Center utilized the Household Pulse Survey microdata to examine impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on North Dakota households that lost employment income. Selected results from the new study and dashboard are highlighted below.

WHO is impacted the most:
The health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the loss of employment income for many people for a variety of reasons (e.g., illness with coronavirus, caring for ill family members, school and childcare closures, business closures, furlough, and layoffs).

  • Two in five adults in North Dakota reported loss of employment income, for themselves or a household member, since the beginning of the pandemic (39%).
  • While all population groups experienced loss of employment income, the hardest hit groups in North Dakota are the youngest adults, population of color, those with lower household income, and those with lower educational attainment.

Discover more data breakdowns on WHO is impacted!

WHAT are the impacts:
North Dakota households that lost employment income since the beginning of the pandemic were more likely to experience hardships such as financial burden, food insufficiency, housing insecurity, mental health issues, reduced access to health care, and negative impact on post-secondary education plans, than households that did not lose employment income.

  • Financial Burden – North Dakota households that have experienced a loss of employment income since the beginning of the pandemic were more likely to struggle to pay for usual household expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, car payments, medical expenses, and student loans. One in two adults in households that lost employment income found it difficult (somewhat or very difficult) to pay for usual household expenses (47%) as compared to one in seven adults in households that did not lose employment income (14%).
  • Food Insufficiency - North Dakota households that have experienced a loss of employment income since the beginning of the pandemic were more likely to experience food insufficiency than households that did not lose employment income. One in seven adults in households that lost employment income reported they did not have enough to eat - sometimes or often (15%) as compared to one in 25 adults in households that did not lose employment income (4%).
  • Housing Insecurity - North Dakota households that have experienced a loss of employment income since the beginning of the pandemic were more likely to struggle to pay for usual household expenses such as rent or a mortgage. One in four adults in households that lost employment income and who own a house with a mortgage or pay rent were more likely to struggle in the ability to pay their next rent or mortgage payment on time - they had no or slight confidence in paying (25%) as compared to one in 14 adults in households that did not lose employment income (7%).
  • Mental Health - The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness. The impact is greater for people that live in households that experienced financial hardship due to loss of employment. One in four adults in households that lost employment income felt down, depressed, or hopeless half of the days to nearly every day, in the past seven days (26%) as compared to one in eight adults in households that did not lose employment income (12%).
  • Access to Medical Care - Reduced access to medical care is a serious consequence of the pandemic since delayed medical care can result in health complications and even death. In general, people may delay needed medical care due to cost. As a result of the pandemic however, people delayed getting medical care or were unable to get the care they needed due to cancelled appointments or procedures, reduced transportation options, fear of going to the hospital and risk of infection, or the desire to not be a burden on the health system. One in four adults in households that lost employment income did not get needed medical care - delayed or needed medical care and did not get the care because of the pandemic (24%) as compared to one in seven adults in households that did not lose employment income (14%).
  • Post-secondary Education - The pandemic disrupted education plans for many people, especially for those with fewer resources or more responsibilities (e.g., caring for children, siblings, or elderly). One in three adults in households that lost employment income who planned to take post-secondary classes, cancelled all plans because of the pandemic (34%) as compared to one in five adults in households that did not lose employment income (21%).

Delve into more data breakdowns on the above impact topics!

The survey and analysis
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey measures the impact of COVID-19 on households across the U.S. from a social and economic perspective. This survey was designed to be as comprehensive as possible, administered quickly, and provide data in near real-time. While the data have some limitations due to online administration and lower response rates, benefits are notable since the survey produces near real-time data to help measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on households. Data collection for the Household Pulse Survey began on April 23, 2020 and is conducted in phases: Phase 1 (April 23 – July 21, 2020), Phase 2 (August 19 – October 26, 2020), and Phase 3 (October 28, 2020 – March 29, 2021). The survey is currently collecting data in Phase 3.1. Survey data are released through an interactive data tool, tables, and microdata. The Household Pulse Survey Interactive Tool provides a visual representation of all the measures for the U.S., each of the 50 states and D.C., and for the 15 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Data tables in Excel for each week of release are available for download. In addition, microdata files are available to create custom tabulations and allow users to delve further into the rich data collected in the Household Pulse Survey.

Again, similar to the North Dakota household with children analysis, to visualize the results of the study on the impact of COVID-19 on households that lost employment income, North Dakota Compass is supplementing its usual data offerings and displaying the analyses with a series of dashboards. The NEW dashboard reports selected impacts of COVID-19 on North Dakota households related to household financial burdens, food insufficiency, housing insecurity, mental health, health care access, and post-secondary education based on data collected in Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3. Results can be viewed overall or by each phase separately.

Explore the dashboards!

Ask a researcher archive

NEW! PRAMS Points – A Brief Infographic using North Dakota PRAMS Survey Data
May 2021

North Dakota Compass: A look inside the 2021 Compass Points
April 2021

Ina Cernusca: Households with children are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
March 2021

Ina Cernusca: Differences in COVID-19 Risk Factors at District Level
February 2021

Kendra Erickson-Dockter, Chelsey Hukriede, and Grace Njau: An Introduction to the North Dakota Study of Associated Risks of Stillbirth (SOARS)
October 2020

Karen Ehrens: North Dakota Families are Facing Food and Other Hardships in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic, and Helpers Respond
September 2020

Ina Cernusca: Taking the pulse of North Dakota households during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 2020

Nancy Hodur:Challenges of Grocery Stores in Rural North Dakota
May 2020

North Dakota Compass:2020 Compass Points: Measuring progress. Inspiring action.
March 2020

Amy Tichy:Student Veterans in the College Classroom.
February 2020

North Dakota Compass:North Dakota Compass launches the 2020 State Legislative District Profiles
January 2020

Grace Njau, Nancy Hodur:&Chelsey Hukriede: Risk Behaviors among Women with a Recent Live Birth in North Dakota: Findings from the 2017 North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
November 2019

Ina Cernusca:& Karen Olson: Behind the scenes – The story of the North Dakota State Legislative District Profiles
October 2019

Ina Cernusca: Key demographic trends in North Dakota.
August 2019

Karen Olson: The 30th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book finds that 175,772 children will shape the future of a more diverse North Dakota.
July 2019

Shweta Arpit Srivastava & Dr. Ann Burnett: “Giving rope and pulling it back”: Parental dilemmas to prevent adolescent substance use
June 2019

Ina Cernusca: 2019 Compass Points: Setting direction for improving the quality of life in North Dakota
May 2019

Joshua Marineau and Onnolee Nordstrom: Learning from Fargo -- An Exploration of the Fargo-Moorhead Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
March 2019

Nancy Hodur: Improving Oral Health for Older Adults in North Dakota
November 2018

Rachelle Vettern: Engaging Volunteers across Generations
October 2018

Karen Olson: The 2018 KIDS COUNT® Data Book reveals strengths and challenges for children in North Dakota – and emphasizes that an inaccurate census in 2020 threatens to worsen existing challenges for North Dakota youth
July 2018

Lori Capouch: Is food access a concern in rural North Dakota?
May 2018

Deb Nelson: Williston Basin 2016: Employment, Population, and Housing Forecasts – An Overview
January 2018

Karen Olson: North Dakota among Top 10 States in Country for Child Well-Being
July 2017

Nancy Hodur: SEAL!North Dakota: A School Dental Sealant Program
June 2017

Grace Njau: A Brief Introduction to the North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
April 2017

Ina Cernusca: North Dakota’s Women study: A brief overview
March 2017

Dean Bangsund: Effects of Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion on Spring Planting for Producers
February 2017

Deb Nelson: Vision West: Leading, Educating, and Collaborating to Mobilize the 19 Western North Dakota Counties Towards Resilience and Prosperity
December 2016

Nancy Hodur: North Dakota Statewide Housing Needs Assessment: A Brief Overview of the Population and Housing Forecast component
November 2016

Social Isolation: Experiential Narratives of African Refugee Women in the Fargo-Moorhead Community
September 2016

Sean Brotherson: Father Involvement and the Future of Children and Families
July 2016

Carol Cwiak: Bakken Oil: What Have We Learned and What Will We Do Differently Next Time
June 2016

Jessica Creuzer: The Changing Face of Western North Dakota: What are the Effects of Increased Travel from Energy Development
April 2016

ND Compass: City Profiles
February 2016

ND Department of Health: Making Change Happen
January 2016

Jennifer Weber: A Bold New Direction for the North Dakota University System - The NDUS Edge Dashboards
December 2015

Wendy Troop-Gordon: What Has Science Taught Us About Bullying?
November 2015

ND Compass: A Look at the Youngest North Dakotans
October 2015

Kendra Erickson-Dockter: Growing Older in North Dakota
September 2015

Michael Ziesch: Data You Can Trust: The Labor Market Information Center
August 2015

Malini Srivastava and Troy Raisanen: efargo: City Scale Sustainability
July 2015

Kevin Iverson: The State Repository of Census Information- The North Dakota Census
June 2015

Wonwoo Byun: Reducing Sedentary Behavior is a Key for Obesity Prevention in Children
May 2015

Kathryn Gordon: The Science of Suicide Prevention
April 2015

ND Compass: Tell a Story with Data! The Importance of Crade-to-Career Success
March 2015

Abby Gold: Community Food Systems: Food Charters and More
February 2015

Heather Fuller-Iglesias: The Importance of Recognizing the Role of Social Support in Human Development Across the Lifespan
January 2015

Michael Carbone: Using Data to End Homelessness
December 2014

Randal Coon: Tribal Colleges Contribute to the State's Economy
November 2014

Deb White: Women's Representation in Elected Office
October 2014

Randal Coon: Pull Factors Measure Retail Trade Performance
September 2014

Karen Olson: North Dakota ranks Well Nationally with Regard to Overall Child Well-Being; However, Substantial Opportunities for Improvement Exist
August 2014

Julie Garden-Robinson: Guard Against Grilling Gaffes: Healthy Grilling and Food Safety Tips
July 2014

Michael Noone: Extreme Weather Patterns- North Dakota Has It All
June 2014

Kathleen Tweeten: Why All Community Development Decisions Should Use the Community Capitals Framework
May 2014

Clayton Hilmert: Stress effects on pregnancy: The impact of the 2009 Red River flood on birth weight
April 2014

Karen Ehrens: Food Deserts and how they impact North Dakota
March 2014

Gretchen Dobervich and Kendra Erickson-Dockter: New Geographic Profiles: How they can work for you
February 2014

Compass Staff: "New Compass Team Brings Changes in 2014"
January 2014

Donna Grandbois: "Fargo-Moorhead American Indian Community-Sponsored Health Needs Assessment"
November 2013

Karen Olson: "North Dakota KIDS COUNT - why it counts for you
October 2013

Nancy Hodur: "Western North Dakota School Administrators Face Challenges"
August 2013

Megan Chmielewski: "Annual population estimates tell interesting stories about North Dakota's growth patterns"
July 2013

Ramona Danielson: "Learn how to make the ND Compass website work for you"
May 2013

Karen Olson: "About the American Community Survey (ACS)"
February 2013

North Dakota Compass

Center for Social Research
North Dakota State University

Compass created by:
Wilder Research

© 2021. All rights reserved.