EurekaFacts Studies COVID-19 Opinions and Behaviors
EurekaFacts, a leader in social science research and market insights, conducted a survey of our respondent panel as the COVID-19 emergency started to ramp up. From March 23-31, 936 respondents answered 29 questions about the coronavirus including the concerns they had about their health and finances, how their behaviors were changing, and where they sought news and updates about COVID-19.
Conducted in compliance with ISO: 20252 to which EurekaFacts is certified. Sample sizes and sampling errors for overall results and subgroups available upon request. For more information about this study or additional research conducted by EurekaFacts, please contact Robert Suls at email@example.com.
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COVID-19 Health Concerns Overtake Financial Worries
Pandemic prompts behavior changes, increased social distancing, and less physical contact
Americans express their concerns as the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. increases – impacting lives and livelihoods across the nation. Americans say that they are “most concerned” about the threat posed to their health, more than the threat to their financial situation, by a margin of greater than two-to-one (65% vs. 29%).
- There is a wide age gap on the greatest concern over COVID-19. Americans 60 years and older feel that the threat to health is greater than the risk to their finances (76% vs. 14%).
- However, among those under age 35, views are mixed: 57% are most concerned about the health risk, while 39% are most concerned about the threat to their financial situation.
Change in behaviors since COVID-19 outbreak
How often are you …
Impact of COVID-19
over next few weeks
Americans are most concerned about threat to …
Source: EurekaFacts Panel Survey of U.S. adults, March 23-31, 2020. N=936. Conducted in compliance with ISO: 20252 to which EurekaFacts is certified.
The EurekaFacts national poll of U.S. adults, conducted March 23-31, also finds that calls from elected officials and health experts for Americans to maintain social distance have gained traction.
- Nine-in-ten adults (92%) say that they are practicing social distancing “more often” since the COVID-19 outbreak.
- In addition to avoiding meetings and handshaking, three-in-ten Americans (31%) are hugging and kissing “less often” since learning of the outbreak, and another 47% say they are not doing this at all.
COVID-19 News Consumption and Workplace Changes for Membership Organizations
With COVID-19 by far the biggest topic on the public’s mind, Americans are turning to a variety of sources for news and updates. The sources used for facts about COVID-19 vary widely based on their belonging to occupational associations or labor unions. Occupational organizations like associations and unions often are set up to provide guidance and information to their memberships about the various aspects and developments that impact their trade or profession.
- Seventy percent (70%) of association members look to public health officials at the CDC for news and updates on coronavirus (versus 62% among all other Americans).
- However, even as the emergency causes severe disruption in employment and occupational practices, relatively few (21%) union and occupational association members seek news and updates from their membership organization.
- Additionally, only one in twenty (5%) of all other Americans seek news from unions or occupational associations about COVID-19.
The findings present an important challenge to membership organizations in bridging the gap with content that is directly relevant at the occupation or trade level. Content from membership organizations is most likely to be different from employer-provided updates and information issued by public health agencies.
Among membership organizations, during the time of COVID-19, there have been increased changes to the workplace including working from home (82%) and sending employees home with pay while operations are temporarily stopped (51%).
Changes in the Workplace
Due to COVID-19
Association Membership and
Source: EurekaFacts surveyed 936 U.S. adults from our respondent panel between March 23-31, 2020. More than one-quarter of respondents (27%) indicated they belonged to a membership organization which includes labor unions, professional societies, and occupational associations. The survey was conducted in compliance with ISO: 20252 to which EurekaFacts is certified.
COVID-19 Workplaces Challenges for Financially Insecure Americans
Financially vulnerable Americans most impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
As the American workplace undergoes sweeping changes to operations, policies, and staffing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, American workers who are most financially insecure are having a much harder time than their wealthier counterparts. In a survey conducted from March 23-31, 2020, EurekaFacts evaluated the attitudes and experiences during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic based on levels of financial security. Americans are categorized into one of three groups (no difficulty, some difficulty, or great difficulty) based on their answers to questions about the level of difficulty affording their expenses, including food, housing, health care, utilities, transportation, and childcare.
- Close to half (45%) of American workers who have great difficulty affording basic expenses say that their workplace has stopped operations and sent employees home without pay, compared with just 18% of those who report no difficulty affording their core expenses.
- Another 41% of the most financially distressed Americans say that their employers have laid-off large portions of staff due to financial troubles linked to COVID-19, while only 15% of those without difficulty affording basic expenses report widespread lay-offs in their workplace.
- At the same time, by a margin of 12-points, workers who have no difficulty affording their essential expenses are more likely to be hearing about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace than are workers who are most financially insecure (88% vs 76%).
Most financially distressed workers have been granted flexible leave by their employers to stay home if they are sick
For several other aspects of work life, during the coronavirus outbreak, there are modest differences between workers who have great difficulty affording basic expenses and those who have some or no difficulty paying for essentials needs.
- About four-in-ten among those at all levels of financial security say that their place of work has stopped operations and sent employees home with pay, including 41% of those who report great difficulty affording basic needs, such as food and housing.
- When it comes to creating flexible workplace leave policies during the pandemic that make it easier for the sick to stay home, a majority (58%) of the most financially distressed workers have been granted this flexibility by their employers. That is on par with two-thirds (66%) of workers who report no difficulty affording their essential needs.
- Overall, fewer than half (41%) of American workers say that their employer has created a back-up system that would allow other workers to cover the work of sick or quarantined staff members in their workplace. Slightly more of those who face great financial stress say that their employer has instituted a back-up system like this than among American workers who have no difficulty with basic expenses (45% vs. 39%).
How financially stressed American view the impact of COVID-19 on themselves and their communities
Americans who face great difficulty affording their basic expenses are far more likely than their more well-off counterparts to be “very concerned” about the impact of COVID-19 on their local economy (73%) and their place of work (66%).
- By contrast, a slim majority of those with no difficultly affording basic expenses say that they are “very concerned” about their local economy (55%) and about a third (37%) are very concerned about their workplace amidst COVID-19.
- Moreover, two-thirds of the most financially insecure Americans are “very concerned” about the ability of their local hospitals and clinics to care for the sick (69%), compared with just over half (55%) of Americans who say they have no difficulty affording core expenses.
- When it comes to their personal health, 64% of the financially distressed say they are “very concerned” about COVID-19, while just 39% of those with no difficulty affording basic needs say they are very concerned about their personal health.
Changes in the Workplace
Due to COVID-19
Impact of COVID-19 on
Financially Insecure Americans
Source: EurekaFacts surveyed 936 U.S. adults from our respondent panel between March 23-31, 2020. Nearly one in five respondents (19%) indicated they had great difficulty affording their household expenses, another 29% of respondents said they had some difficulty, and over half of the respondents (52%) indicated they had little difficulty. The survey was conducted in compliance with ISO: 20252 to which EurekaFacts is certified.