Survey: Nearly 6 in 10 Americans fear they’ll lose their job during coronavirus outbreak

  • New StudyFinds survey shows that 45% of respondents know at least three people who have become unemployed in the past two weeks.
  • Poll also reveals 54% of Americans are spending more cash each week on groceries than they normally would.
  • Conversely, 46% of adults say they’re spending less money each week than usual, be it out of caution or simply because they’re not enjoying normal recreational activities.

BALTIMORE — Orders to practice self-distancing and keep inside our homes during the coronavirus outbreak has led millions of Americans to change their daily lifestyles and routines. Major companies are taking critical financial blows, small businesses have closed entirely, and unemployment applications are soaring. Results from a new StudyFinds survey mirrors these lifestyle adaptations and economic impacts: more than half of Americans are spending more money each week on groceries and 45% know at least three people who have recently lost their jobs.

Coronavirus Survey: Grocery SpendingScenes of panicked shoppers lined up with packed carts have been seen across TV news networks since warnings of the coronavirus first hit the United States. Now, with health officials suggesting families stay home and avoid others, online grocery stores and retailers are overwhelmed with orders. Overall, 54% of the 424 American adults surveyed are shelling out more cash on a weekly basis for grocery orders since beginning their quarantine. About three in 10 are spending the same amount they typically, while 15% are perhaps being more cautious with their finances and spending less than usual.

Of course, when it comes to online shopping, many Americans often turn to Amazon first and foremost. When surveyed about their Amazon spending habits during the outbreak, 36% say they’re spending more and 21% are spending less than they usually do. Only 4% of participants indicated they don’t shop on Amazon.

Coronavirus Survey: Amazon SpendingOverall, there’s an interesting split in how Americans are using their money right now. While 40% of respondents admit they’ve generally been spending more money, 46% believe they’re spending less than they normally would. It may be that individuals are trying to be more conservative with their cash, but participants aren’t likely using money they might normally use on clothing, recreation, travel or gasoline.

Coronavirus Survey: Restaurant SpendingDining out is also an activity that Americans simply can’t risk doing — if they’re even allowed to anymore, based on government-ordered closures. Yet many feel obligated to help keep local restaurants or coffee shops afloat, and three in five respondents report visiting an eatery or place that serves food at least once in the past week. Another 12% admit doing so at least three times within the week, while two in five have avoided restaurants entirely.

Finally, and perhaps most frightening, four in five Americans know at least one person who’s lost their job in the last two weeks. As mentioned earlier, a shocking 45% of respondents know three or more who are since unemployed. It’s no shock then that respondents who are still holding onto their job are feeling anxiety: 57% admit they’re either somewhat or very concerned about the fate of their own occupation in the next three months.

Coronavirus Survey: Lost a JobIt remains to be seen just how much of a dent the coronavirus outbreak will leave on the American economy, but millions are already feeling the pain. Relief doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon, but the incredible shows of community and togetherness during this uncertain time are at least providing some much needed sparks of positivity for a reeling planet.

The StudyFinds survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey.