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What Credit Unions Can Do About The "Shecession"

For the first time in history, the US is in a “shecession”. A "shecession" is an economic condition where job and income losses affect women more than men. According to C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), a thinktank, more than 11 million women have lost their jobs. Another 2.65 million have left the workforce since February of 2020. The long-term impact of this will be increased food and housing insecurity.

Credit Unions can help members manage their finances in challenging times; the key is early detection. Identifying members who are experiencing challenges with their finances is easy when you know what to look for. Start with transaction data and look for the following:

1. Changes in spending habits.

Reviewing month-over-month or quarter-over-quarter data to see changes in retailers, as well as gas and groceries. Changes made in grocery spend may indicate a change in financial condition.

2. Changes in deposits.

If paycheck deposits change, that is an indicator of a change in employment status, but it is also the kind of deposit activity to analyze as well. In reviewing deposit data, is there a presence of unemployment benefits or another sort of indicators of economic changes?

Once members have been identified as probably needing financial assistance, the next step is to start the outreach. This is where credit unions can shine, as helping members before is what credit unions do and have done for decades.


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