Summary of Shedding Light on Our Economic and Financial Lives

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Why has Americans’ geographic mobility declined over the last few decades? Do unfavorable economic conditions, or even the perception of a bad economy, play a part in increased opioid use? Does the growing prevalence of part-time work and irregular job schedules decrease either the preference or opportunity for full-time employment? These are just some of the questions that a 2017 Federal Reserve survey of adults in the United States sought to answer. Some of its findings may surprise you. getAbstract recommends this thought-provoking assessment to anyone looking for a pulse check on the American economy.

About the Authors

Jeff Larrimore et al. are professionals with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.



The annual Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making (SHED) from the US Federal Reserve takes a snapshot of Americans’ jobs, wages, spending, education, indebtedness and savings through interviews with a representative swath of 12,000 residents. The 2017 SHED report highlights three prominent issues:

  • “The opioid epidemic”  Some academics hypothesize that a prolonged downturn in economic opportunities fosters “deaths of despair” that lead to increased opioid use, while others find no direct relationship. The Fed survey reveals that some 20...

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