A third report a job loss, half a pay cut as coronavirus crisis grips the economy

Economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis are gripping the nation: One in three Americans in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say they or an immediate family member have been laid off or lost their job as a result of the pandemic, and more – half – report a cut in pay or work hours. Beyond…

A third report a job loss, half a pay cut as coronavirus crisis grips the economy

Economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis are gripping the nation: One in three Americans in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say they or an immediate family member have been laid off or lost their job as a result of the pandemic, and more – half – report a cut in pay or work hours.

Beyond those stark realities, worries for the future are profound. A nearly unanimous 92% expect a recession because of the outbreak, with 59% calling this not just likely, but very likely. If one occurs, two-thirds think it will be as bad as the Great Recession, or worse. Already, in interviews Sunday through Wednesday, 43% say the economic impacts on their own community are severe.

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.

The survey’s result on job losses is reflected in the unprecedented level of new unemployment claims reported today by the federal government. But the claims data don’t reflect the broader public fears. Among those who haven’t yet experienced a job loss in their immediate family, 58% are concerned about it occurring. And 53% are concerned their family will be hit with pay cuts or reduced work hours.
The net totals mean that 71% of Americans either have had a layoff or job loss occur as a result of the pandemic, or are concerned about this; and 76% either have lost pay or work hours, or are concerned that this may happen.

Further, the survey finds higher levels of job losses and pay cuts among the most economically at-risk Americans: those with lower incomes, racial and ethnic minorities and, specifically in terms of job losses, women who lack a four-year college degree.

On another front, the public expresses broad support for some elements of the economic stimulus package approved unanimously by the Senate last night. Eighty-six percent back cash payments to most Americans and 90% support billions in aid to small businesses, with bipartisan views on both. Assistance for large corporations is far less popular, with support dropping to 46%.

Most interviews for this national survey were conducted Sunday and Monday in order to avoid potential call center shutdowns; the results are a portrait in time in the fast-moving crisis. While this report focuses on economic impacts,
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