Poll: Americans struggle under economic toll from coronavirus

Poll: Americans struggle under economic toll from coronavirus

More than 40 percent of Americans say they’ve experienced a decline in income because of the coronavirus, according to a new poll that underscores the economic toll the pandemic is having on U.S. workers.

The latest Monmouth University survey found that 41 percent of people say they’ve realized a loss of income due to the pandemic, up from 35 percent in March.

The loss of income affected households across the earnings spectrum, including 42 percent of those making less than $50,000, 40 percent of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 43 percent of those making $100,000 or more.

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In addition, 30 percent of Americans said that someone in their household had been laid off because of the coronavirus, including 7 percent who said everyone in their household had lost their job. The layoffs have hit about one-third of those making under $100,000 a year and about a quarter of those making more.

More than 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment in three weeks, according to the latest jobless claims data, as the coronavirus has shuttered a slew of businesses.

More than 20 percent of Americans said they’re struggling to pay their bills, a phenomenon that has had an outsized impact on low-income earners, with 36 percent of those making less than $50,000 struggling to pay bills, compared to 13 percent of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 12 percent of those making $100,000 or more.

About 27 percent of people reported working from home for the first time, up from 20 percent last month. Those making more than $100,000 are likeliest to be working from home, at 41 percent, compared to 27 percent of those in the middle bracket and 21 percent of the lowest earners.

Still, 62 percent of Americans described their economic situation as stable. Twenty-six percent said they’re struggling, while 11 percent said they’re economic outlook is improving.

“Americans seem to be approaching the current situation as something that will hopefully pass quickly,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. “This could change if the immediate economic slump drags on after the health emergency passes.”

The Monmouth University poll of 857 U.S. adults was conducted from April 3 to April 7 and has a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.