Pandemic Concerns Differ by Demographics

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Especially in challenging times, the more staffing firms know about how candidates are feeling, the more meaningfully firms can engage with them. A deeper dive analysis into the latest ASA Workforce Monitor® survey results reveals that specific pandemic-induced concerns differ based on race/ethnicity, geographic location, and work industry. The data offer staffing firms unique perspectives when making connections with candidates is so critical.

The longer-than-anticipated presence of Covid-19 has severely affected the livelihood and significantly elevated levels of stress for millions in the U.S., but disproportionately it would seem, based on one’s demographics.

Concerns Differ by Race/Ethnicity

People of color are much more likely to be concerned about a variety of work-related issues: Hispanic/Latino and Black/African-American individuals are more worried than those classifying themselves as White/Caucasian about finding a job, needing new skills to land a job, transitioning careers or roles, and the possibility of losing a job—if they haven’t already.

Not only are people of color more likely to be concerned with work-related issues, but meeting core financial obligations is also significantly more worrisome for Hispanic/Latino and Black/African-American individuals—especially when it comes to being able to pay their rent or mortgage, keeping up with student loans, and affording child care costs.


City Dwellers Are Stressed Out

Race/ethnicity isn’t the only demographic area of difference. People living in urban areas are more likely to have financial concerns than individuals residing in suburban or rural locations. City dwellers, more than suburbanites or those living the country life, tend to be worried about paying their rent or mortgage and meeting student loan obligations.

Urbanites are also more likely to feel the weight of finding a job, needing new skills to land a job, or needing to transition careers or roles.

Worries Vary by Industry Sector, Too

It’s not just geographic location and race/ethnicity that results in varied levels of concern. Certain industry sectors are also reporting heightened financial concerns amid the pandemic. In particular, people employed in engineering, IT, and scientific roles are more anxious about paying for child care and losing their job than those employed in other industry sectors.

New Study Reveals Candidate Sentiment

What does all of this mean for staffing companies beyond the impact on internal corporate employees? There’s the added layer of assessing and addressing concerns of temporary employees. The good news is, ASA recently commissioned ClearlyRated to conduct a Candidate Sentiment Study covering what you need to know to aid your recruitment retention efforts with staffing employees.


When it comes to candidate pandemic concerns, Covid-19 has increased general public desire for remote work and landing permanent jobs. Thus, affording options in these areas will be appealing.

Also, temporary work is a bit more desirable for engineering, information technology, and scientific candidates. While most Asians want to land permanent jobs, Blacks/African-Americans are leaning toward striking out on their own as independent contractors.

The best news is that candidates see the value of staffing agencies even more during these uncertain economic times. In sum, emphasizing the positive culture of client organizations, the breadth of advantages in working with staffing firms, and the potential to build a fruitful relationship with a recruiter are a few ways to entice candidates.

Visit americanstaffing.net/candidate-sentiment-study for a report outline and link to the ASA online store for your copy of the 77-page PDF report.

“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,” says 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.”


ASA members always are welcome to contact the research team at 703-253-2020 or research@americanstaffing.net with questions about these statistics or other ASA research.

Cynthia Davidson is senior director of research and Tim Hulley is senior manager of research for ASA. Send feedback on this article to success@americanstaffing.net. Engage with ASA on social media—go to americanstaffing.net/social.

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