The Impact of COVID-19 on Working Class Americans
Consumer Trends & Insights
As a leading performance marketing company, we are leveraging our real-time survey capabilities to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on everyday life in the US. Interacting with nearly one million Americans daily across our portfolio of owned and operated media properties, we are collecting timely and reliable insights at a massive scale to help businesses and municipalities best respond to the needs of consumers during this pandemic.
General nervousness about the novel coronavirus outbreak
Changes in job status and work situation due to COVID-19
Adjustments to buying behavior and other aspects of daily life
Last Updated August 12, 2020
Employment and Finances
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the national economy and left millions of Americans without work. With the extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits expiring in July, President Trump has approved an executive memorandum intended to provide $400 per week in expanded benefits for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. While Trump’s memorandum would make those payments retroactive to August 1, backlash from Congress and a lack of state funding could delay this money from reaching Americans’ bank accounts.
This week we asked our audience how they are managing their finances amidst the pandemic, comparing their latest responses to those collected in April. We look at those who have altered their budgets and the areas where they are cutting back on spending. We also examine the impact of the lapse in extra unemployment benefits, as well as sentiment around COVID-19 surcharges.
Since your work has been disrupted by the onset of the coronavirus, how are you managing financially?
of Americans are struggling to manage their finances - a 14% increase since April.
Since April, far fewer people are relying on the stimulus check to make ends meet (18% in August vs. 33% in April).
Will the expiration of the extra $600 unemployment benefit impact your ability to make essential payments like rent and food costs?
of unemployment recipients will have difficulty paying rent and purchasing necessities when the $600 unemployment benefit expires.
When the $600 unemployment benefits expires, Gen Zers will have an easier times coping than their older counterparts.
Have you had to alter your budget due to the pandemic?
57% of Americans have had to alter their budgets due to the pandemic.
59% of women adjusted their budget due to the pandemic, compared to 54% of men.
Compared to other age groups, Gen Xers and baby boomers are most likely to have altered their budget during the pandemic.
If you had to decrease your budget, what would you be most likely to reduce or remove?
Americans are most likely to reduce expenses on entertainment (36%) and dining out (32%). Costs associated with personal care and transportation are least likely to be reduced.
Compared to other generations, Gen Zers and millennials are most likely to prioritize dining out over entertainment.
Businesses have begun implementing a COVID-19 surcharge as they’ve reopened. Do you feel this is reasonable?
77% of Americans believe that COVID surcharges are unreasonable.
Compared to other age groups, Gen Zers are the least likely to find COVID-19 surcharges unreasonable.
‘Fluent Pulse’ reflects a daily online survey collected across Fluent’s portfolio of owned & operated websites.
Fluent attracts a massive audience across its network of owned media properties. While all segments of the US population are represented, the below are our most prevalent demographic skews:
|Demographic Attribute||Over Penetrated Among|
61% between the age of 18 & 44
|Education||High School Degree or Some College|
|Households with Children||42% of Audience|
On average, 150,000 – 175,000 consumers respond daily.
No, but representative of the overall Fluent Audience.
All responses related to this survey are anonymized; only survey responses will be disclosed. At no point will consumer’s personal information will ever be disclosed.
Data has been collected from U.S. adults on a daily or weekly basis, dependent upon topic, since March 10, 2020. All data is sourced from Fluent’s portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Results are specific to the Fluent audience and not reflective of the general U.S. population.
The data presented on this site does not reflect the official opinion, policy or position of Fluent, Inc. This research is only meant to inform and illustrate, as an example, the rich data assets Fluent can derive insights from to drive in-market strategies.