Pandemic Problems: What’s Keeping Adults Up at Night?


Younger Generations Worry About Jobs, Older Generations About Cost Increases

Three in four U.S. adults are worried about the rising price of groceries (75%) and the increasing cost of living (74%), which they see continuing over the next year as the nation navigates the pandemic’s impact on the economy and daily life, according to the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

Nearly two-thirds are also concerned about stock market ups and downs (65%), their retirement funds losing money (65%), or reinstatement of stay-at-home orders in the event of a Covid-19 resurgence (63%) in the next year.

Those who have been laid off, furloughed, or given zero-hour schedules have even greater economic worries over the next year than their peers who were not. Among the starkest differences in apprehension between these two groups are paying for childcare (63% vs. 28%), paying for student loans (64% vs. 34%), and permanently losing their jobs (65% vs. 34%).

Top 5 Reasons U.S. Adults Are Worried

  1. Rising price of groceries (75%)
  2. Overall cost of living rising (74%)
  3. Stock market ups and downs (65%)
  4. Retirement funds losing money (65%)
  5. Stay-at-home orders in event of Covid-19 resurgence (63%)
While all generations are worried on some level about the rising price of groceries and an increase in the overall cost of living, younger generations are more likely to have concerns about finding a job or needing new skills to land a job.

“During this time of great economic uncertainty, people across the U.S. are feeling the rising financial heat as the nation continues to battle Covid-19,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Staffing agencies are continuing to hire across the U.S. and offer work opportunities for people whose jobs were displaced due to the pandemic or who want an additional source of income to help alleviate some of the financial worries keeping them up at night.”

To learn more about the ASA Workforce Monitor, visit You can also follow ASA research on Twitter.


The Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA, June 16–18, 2020, among a total of 2,065 U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 1,134 are employed full time or part time, or are self-employed. Results were weighted on age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, and geographic region where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. In addition, the data were adjusted for differences between the online and offline populations.


About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

About the ASA Workforce Monitor

The ASA Workforce Monitor is a periodic survey commissioned by ASA and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,000 or more U.S. adults age 18 and older. The survey series focuses on current workforce trends and issues. For more information about the survey series, visit

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. To learn more, please visit


Michelle R. Snyder
Director, Public Relations

Angela Sidlauskas
Manager, Public Relations

Ali Donzanti

Related Articles

ASA Workforce MonitorMore than three-quarters of employed U.S. adults (79%) are satisfied with their employers’ pandemic-related return-to-work plans. Download the infographic »

Stay Up-to-Date

Get the latest Covid-19 info & resources for staffing companies.

Follow ASA on the web