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30% of unemployed households had to borrow for basic necessities

The Quarterly National Household Survey conducted by the CSO, published February 14, 2012 shows that 30% of households headed by a person who is unemployed had borrowed money from family or friends to pay for basic goods and services. In addition, half of such households had missed paying household bills and more than one quarter had missed loan repayments.

Two thirds of households headed by a person with a job and two thirds of those headed by an unemployed person had reduced the amount they saved. However, households where the reference person was unemployed were far more likely to have spent some or all of their savings. Almost 64% of these households had spent savings to pay for basic goods and services in the two years prior to the survey, compared with 46% of households where the reference person was employed.

According to the survey, which polled consumer habits in the two years preceding the second quarter of 2011, spending on groceries and entertainment took the largest cuts, with more than half of households cutting their weekly shopping bills and expenditure on going out.
Savings have also been hit, with 45 per cent of households spending some or all of their savings and 62 per cent reducing the amount being saved during the period under review.
 
Main findings of the study
·         In all, 79% of households cut back their spending on at least one of the listed items as a result of the economic climate in the two years before the survey.
·         More than half of households cut back their spending on groceries and more than half cut back spending on going out.
·         Almost two thirds of households cut back their spending on clothing and footwear.
·         Spending on health insurance was reduced by 15% of households and 11% of households cut back spending on pension contributions.
·         One fifth of households delayed or missed paying their bills in order to meet their outgoings on basic goods and services. One in ten delayed or missed loan repayments and a further one in ten delayed or missed paying their credit card bill.
·         In the two years prior to the survey 45% of households spent some or all of their savings and 62% reduced the amount being saved.
·         One in ten households borrowed money from family or friends to pay for basic goods and services in the two years prior to the survey.
Th The Full study can be downloaded below.
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PDF icon Household and Economic Downturn Report126.28 KB