Almost four out of 10 Americans have lost their job or had their hours reduced due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a new IBD/TIPP poll. In addition 65% are concerned about keeping with their living expenses due to the fallout from Covid-19.
Americans overwhelmingly see Covid-19 as a serious threat, with broad support for coronavirus shutdowns and "stay-at-home" measures to control the virus spread.
Coronavirus Job Woes, Expense Worries Hit Americans
In total, 15% of respondents said they had lost their job, while 23% have had their hours cut due to the coronavirus crisis. However, 60% said they have not been affected, while 2% declined to answer. In addition, just 17% said they are working at their regular workplace, compared with 21% who are working remotely due to the crisis. A further 12% said they are working remotely as usual.
But the more precarious employment environment is clearly having a wider effect on the psyche of Americans. In total, 33% of those polled said they are very worried about their living expenses, while a further 32% said they are somewhat worried. In contrast just 19% are not very concerned, while the smallest group, totaling 13%, said they are not at all worried.
The Trump Administration and Congress have moved to stem the Covid-19 economic damage. Last week President Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill which will see those who earn less than $75,000 getting a $1,200 payment. There will be an additional $500 for each child under 17.
The bill also includes expanded unemployment benefits and $350 billion for small business loans.
Initial jobless claims skyrocketed to 6.64 million in the week ended March 28, the Labor Department said Thursday. New filings for unemployment benefits spiked to 3.31 million in the prior week. Claims are likely to remain at historic levels in the next few weeks, as more employers cut jobs as revenue plummets.
Coronavirus Crisis Sparks Retirement Fears
But Americans also have fears about their longer term futures due to the coronavirus crisis.
A majority of those polled said they are concerned about the negative impact on their retirement savings. In total, 36% were very concerned, with a further 28% being somewhat concerned. And just 13% are not very worried, with 9% saying they are not at all concerned.
While a stock market rally attempt is underway and prices have rallied from their lows, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes are all well off their pre-coronavirus highs. And with uncertainty still high, it could be some time before markets recover fully.
Americans Back Coronavirus Shutdowns
Among those polled, the vast majority (76%) believe the coronavirus is a serious threat. Just 16% say it's exaggerated.
Americans broadly support lockdown measures used to control the coronavirus. In total, 65% strongly agree with limits on movement and shelter-in-place orders, while 22% somewhat agree. Just 6% disagree somewhat, while 3% strongly disagree.
The figures are identical among those polled on the subject of nonessential business closures. A total of 65% strongly agree with this, 22% somewhat agree, while just 6% somewhat agree and 3% strongly disagree.
Small Business, Health Care Prioritized
Americans have two favorites on which industries should be at the front of the line for coronavirus stimulus loans and grants.
Both small businesses and the health care sectors are well in front, with 65% of those polled supporting them getting priority. Restaurants, at 56%, is the only other industry to receive a majority.
One-third (34%) of respondents back airlines, the hotel and hospitality industry and manufacturers.
Meanwhile the tourism industry and entertainment/theaters brought up the rear. Just 21% and 17% of Americans, respectively, believe they deserve rescue aid priority.
In total 1,226 adults aged 18+ nationwide participated in the IBD/TIPP online survey. The results are weighted to mirror the national population for age, gender, race, and region.
Panel samples are convenience samples and are not probability samples and hence the concept of margin of error does not apply. A probability sample of similar size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9% at a confidence level of 95%.
Please click here to read the original article on the Investor’s Business Daily website.