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Pandemic Worries Vary by Race, Job Sector, and More


Employment and financial worries caused by the Covid-19 pandemic differ among demographic groups, according to a deep analysis into the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

People of color are more likely to be concerned about a variety of employment-related issues: Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American individuals are more worried than those classifying themselves as White/Caucasian about finding a job (68%/54%/45%), needing new skills to land a job (62%/56%/44%), transitioning careers or roles (57%/55%/42%), and the possibility of losing a job (58%/50%/40%).

Work-Related Financial Worries

Hispanic/Latino Black White
Finding a job 68% 54% 45%
Needing new skills to land a job 62% 56% 44%
Needing to transition careers/ roles 57% 55% 42%
Losing a job 58% 50% 40%

These disparities extend to concerns about meeting core financial obligations, with Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American individuals more likely to be concerned than Whites/Caucasians about being able to pay their rent or mortgage (65%/58%44%), student loans (58%/53%/38%), and child care costs (51%/53%/34%).

Core Financial Obligation-Related Worries

Hispanic/Latino Black White
Paying for rent/mortgage 65% 58% 44%
Paying for student loans 58% 53% 38%
Paying for child care 51% 53% 34%

People living in urban areas are more likely to have financial concerns than individuals residing in suburban or rural locations. City dwellers are more likely than individuals in the suburbs or the country to be worried about paying their rent or mortgage (58%/45%/45%) and their student loans (55%/38%/39%). In addition, urbanites are more likely to worry about finding a job (58%/51%/47%), needing new skills to land a job (56%/47%/46%), or needing to transition careers or roles (55%/44%/49%).

Urban Suburban Rural

Urban Suburban Rural
Paying for rent/mortgage 58% 45% 45%
Paying for student loans 55% 38% 39%
Finding a new job 58% 51% 47%
Needing new skills to land a job 56% 47% 46%
Needing to transition careers/ roles 55% 44% 49%

Those employed in various industry sectors also have differing financial concerns amid the pandemic. In particular, people employed in engineering, IT, and scientific roles are more anxious about paying for child care (67%) and losing their job (62%) than those employed in other industries.

“The potential severity of the negative economic impact of Covid-19 has not been the same for everyone in the U.S. during the pandemic,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “For millions of people, temporary and contract work is a means to address their very real employment and financial concerns. Staffing agencies across the U.S. are hiring now and are ready to help get the nation back to work.”

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. Results were weighted on age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, marital status, household size, 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 (ASA)

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

Ali Donzanti

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