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Only 47% of Americans think the work lost by the coronavirus will return

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Josh Boak and Emily Swanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Nearly half of Americans whose families survived layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic now believe those jobs are lost forever, a new poll shows, as temporary cuts give way to closed businesses, bankruptcies and lingering wage cuts.

It is a drastic change after the initial optimism that jobs will return. In April, 78% of those who lost their jobs thought it would be temporary. Now 47% believe the lost work is true or likely not to return, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC.

That is about 10 million workers who will need to find a new employer, if not a new profession.


The poll is the latest indication that sustained hiring in May and June, as some states have revoked home stay orders and the economy has begun to recover, may decline over the course of the year. An additional problem: many students start the school year online, making it difficult for parents to work outside the home.

“Honestly, at the moment there will be no job to return to,” said Tonica Daly, 35, who lives in Riverside, California, and has four children between the ages of 3 and 18. “Children are going to study in a virtual school, but there is no kindergarten.”

Daly was fired from her job as a manager at JC Penney, which filed for bankruptcy protection. She said an additional $ 600 a week in unemployment benefits provided by Congress as part of the federal government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus allowed her family to pay credit cards, she said, but the potential end or reduction of those benefits in August would force her to take money to get by.

Economic recovery has shown signs of cessation amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. The number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since March, while the number of infections in the United States exceeded 4 million – with many more cases going unnoticed.

The poll shows that 72% of Americans would prefer to impose restrictions in their communities to stop the spread of COVID-19 than to remove them to help the economy. Only 27% want to prefer the economy to efforts to stop the outbreak.

“The only real end to this pandemic problem is the successful use of vaccines,” said 82-year-old Fred Folkman, a professor of business from Long Island, New York.


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About 9 out of 10 Democrats prefer to end the virus, while Republicans are more evenly divided – 46% focus on stopping the spread, while 53% say the economy is a higher priority.

President Donald Trump and Congress have not yet agreed on a new aid package. Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, have sought additional $ 3 trillion in aid, including money for state and local governments. Republicans who control the Senate have proposed $ 1 trillion to reduce the amount of expanded unemployment benefits.

Overall, about half of Americans say they or someone in their family lost some income during a pandemic. This includes 27% of those who claim that someone was fired, 33% planned for fewer hours, 24% took unpaid leave, and 29% reduced wages.

Eighteen percent of those who lost their homework now say she is back, and another 34% expect her to return.

The poll still shows the multifaceted impact of the pandemic. About 6 out of 10 non-white Americans claim to have lost a source of family income, compared to about half of white Americans. 46 percent of those with higher education say they have lost some form of family income, compared to 56 percent of those without.

Trump’s rating on economic governance is 48%, up from a month ago, but down from January and March, when 56% said they approved. However, the economy remains Trump’s strongest problem. Working for Trump, 88% of Republicans – including 85% of those whose households lost income during the pandemic – approve of his running the economy. Eighty-two percent of Democrats disapprove.

“A lot of people are criticizing our president, but he’s a cheerleader,” said Jim Russ, 74, a retired worker from Austin, Texas. “As long as we keep that up, the American public will think positively and positively.”

The poll shows that 38% of Americans consider the national economy good. This is about the same as in June, and more than 29% in May, but well below the 67% who felt so in January.



Sixty-four percent of Republicans consider the economy good, compared to 19% of Democrats. In addition, 59% of Republicans expect the economy to improve next year, while Democrats are more likely to expect worsening than improvement, 47% to 29%.

Sixty-five percent of Americans also call their personal financial situation good. This is about the same thing that was throughout the pandemic and before the crisis. However, Americans a little less than a month ago, expect an improvement in personal financial situation next year. 33 percent say that now, after a month ago, 38% said so. Another 16% expect a deterioration in the financial situation, and 51% expect no change.

So much of what’s happening in the economy will depend on the trajectory of the virus, said 72-year-old Danny Vaughn of Dade City, Florida.

“I don’t agree with everything the president is doing, but his leadership on the coronavirus has been lacking,” Vaughn said. “And that’s the number one problem the American people are facing now.”

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The AP-NORC survey, involving 1,057 adults, was conducted from July 16 to 20 using a sample taken from the AmeriSpeak panel, based on the NORC probability, which is intended to represent the U.S. population. The tolerance of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

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Source: AP News

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