The Economic Fallout
from the Pandemic
Facing an enduring physical and financial health crisis, social unrest, caregiving challenges, and uneven hardships, Americans’ confidence and perceived
control over their financial destiny is fading, according to new research by Prudential. One year into the pandemic, the findings paint an especially stark picture that shifts profoundly across demographics. As the pandemic and economic fallout persist, optimism about a bedrock ethos of opportunity and progress will surely remain one measure of our nation’s resilience in 2021.
HOUSEHOLD INCOMES ARE PLUMMETING
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
WORK DEMANDS ARE RISING
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf
of Prudential between Dec. 18 and 20, 2020, among a national sample of 2,201 U.S. adults, age 24 – 74. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults, age 24 – 74 based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Methodology: This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential between Dec. 18 and 20, 2020, among a national sample of 2,201 U.S. adults, age 24 – 74. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults, age 24 – 74 based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
© 2021 The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates, Newark, NJ. 1046460-00001-00
Nearly half (46%) of Americans describe themselves
as financially struggling, up from 22% in May 2020.
Household incomes are plummeting
are below $30k compared to 19% in May and nearly 1/5 (17%) of respondents report their HHI has been cut in half. 42% of women and 52% of Black Americans have an annual HHI under $30k
say they have fallen behind in paying bills versus 11% in May, and 9% have missed a mortgage or rent payment
of people are taking on debt, and many are borrowing or withdrawing from their 401(k) (11%), IRA (6%) and life insurance (6%) as a result of the pandemic. Groups reporting the highest levels of increased debt include Latino Americans (23%), millennials (23%), and women (20%)
cite a decreased confidence in meeting their financial goals, and 31% say their ability to achieve those goals is out of their control. Confidence has especially decreased among women (49% vs. 39% men) and millennials (53% vs. Gen X 49% vs. boomers 31%)
of people say they would
like to see more affordable health care as a result of
have indicated a reduction or complete stop of spending on health and medical expenses for themselves/their family following an income disruption due to the pandemic
report their household has medical debt, and for those without emergency savings, this rises to 26%
of respondents have sought support for mental health as a result of the pandemic
Mental and physical health are suffering
in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, sharply declining from early on in the pandemic.
agree they are finding it “increasingly difficult to keep up with my financial obligations, despite having a job”
of those with an income disruption or job loss have had to utilize a food bank, and 10% received assistance from a charitable organization
of workers have seen their compensation reduced since the pandemic hit
of respondents report increased work hours,
with 8% saying they are uncompensated for the
time and evolving
Unemployment is higher among people of color
Work demands are rising,
while compensation is dropping.
of Latino Americans and 26% of Black Americans say they are unemployed versus 19% of White Americans
For people with an
Has the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to do any of the following?
Money worries are on the rise and many Americans are gripped by immediate needs, making it difficult to seek protections for the future.
have sold items
have taken money
have applied for/used
have borrowed money
from family or friends
have cut service/
reduced monthly bills
have taken on some
For all respondents:
take part in professional
development or education
(new certifications, degrees,
or training courses)
write a will, estate plan,
start a new business
create a health care proxy,
living will, or power of attorney
purchase guaranteed income
products or annuities
start working with
a financial planner
create a formal
of respondents who are working say they’re struggling to keep up with caregiving needs. For working parents, this rises to 49% agreement
of those not working say they left the workplace due to increased caregiving needs
Caregiving is an essential need, and Americans are
calling for government support on this and other issues.
agree the government
needs to step in to allow more employees access to paid family leave
agree the government
needs to prioritize
more solutions for child care and caregiving in this country
agree the government
has not done enough to address the financial needs of individuals
wish the government moved more quickly to address the financial needs of individuals
agree the pandemic
has highlighted big gaps in the social safety net in times of crisis
say they have emergency savings (down from 61% in Oct. 2017), and 20% have reduced or exhausted emergency savings
of Americans say they do not anticipate feeling any financial impact from COVID-19. Just 5% say their finances are in better shape than ever
of Americans do not feel the pandemic has caused them to realize their own resiliency
anticipate financial strain for the long haul, saying it’ll take years to recover financially
Resiliency: Are we there yet?
The answer is decidedly no.