Pandemic Worries Vary by Race, Job Sector, and More

Employment and financial worries caused by the Covid-19 pandemic differ among demographic groups, according to a deep analysis into the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

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People of color are more likely to be concerned about a variety of employment-related issues: Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American individuals are more worried than those classifying themselves as White/Caucasian about finding a job (68%/54%/45%), needing new skills to land a job (62%/56%/44%), transitioning careers or roles (57%/55%/42%), and the possibility of losing a job (58%/50%/40%).

These disparities extend to concerns about meeting core financial obligations, with Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American individuals more likely to be concerned than Whites/Caucasians about being able to pay their rent or mortgage (65%/58%44%), student loans (58%/53%/38%), and child care costs (51%/53%/34%).

People living in urban areas are more likely to have financial concerns than individuals residing in suburban or rural locations. City dwellers are more likely than individuals in the suburbs or the country to be worried about paying their rent or mortgage (58%/45%/45%) and their student loans (55%/38%/39%). In addition, urbanites are more likely to worry about finding a job (58%/51%/47%), needing new skills to land a job (56%/47%/46%), or needing to transition careers or roles (55%/44%/49%).

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Those employed in various industry sectors also have differing financial concerns amid the pandemic. In particular, people employed in engineering, IT, and scientific roles are more anxious about paying for child care (67%) and losing their job (62%) than those employed in other industries.

“The potential severity of the negative economic impact of Covid-19 has not been the same for everyone in the U.S. during the pandemic,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “For millions of people, temporary and contract work is a means to address their very real employment and financial concerns. Staffing agencies across the U.S. are hiring now and are ready to help get the nation back to work.”

The Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA, June 16–18, 2020, among a total of 2,065 U.S. adults age 18 and older. Results were weighted on age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, marital status, household size, and geographic region where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. In addition, the data were adjusted for differences between the online and offline populations.

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