NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewsCentre/ — A recently conducted survey of Americans highlights the worsening economic situation in the United States as a result of the spread of COVID-19. For the first time, the percentage of Americans prioritizing limiting the spread of the virus has dropped below 50% (49%), while protecting the economy reached an all-time high, with one in three respondents indicating the economy must be the nation’s top priority (33%), according to a survey conducted by Kekst CNC, a leading global strategic communications firm.
Graph of respondents stating various intuitions were responding to the pandemic well
Graph of winners and losers during the pandemic by industry
According to Nicholle Manners, Global Head of Knowledge, Insights, Research & Analytics at Kekst CNC, "Over half of Americans (54%) are now personally aware of businesses that have closed as a result of the virus, the highest percentage of the six countries surveyed, which included France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and Sweden. This number was even higher on the West Coast, where 57% of respondents were personally aware of closed businesses. Self-employed respondents were the most likely to personally be aware of businesses that had closed (63%). Notably, the United States also led the six markets surveyed in other detrimental economic indicators: over one quarter of Americans (28%) expect to lose their job, one in three Americans (34%) are worried that their company may collapse, and one in four Americans (25%) have already lost their job."
Despite the widespread negative economic impact, American employers led those in other countries in 13 of the 15 areas surveyed, including on performance during the pandemic. Specifically, more than one in four (27%) employees positively rated their employer’s ability to communicate plans for future skills training and professional development, and nearly one third (29%) of respondents felt their employers were protecting their jobs. Areas where American employers performed strongly, but did not lead, were providing mental health support to employees and instituting health and safety measures in the workplace.
Ms. Manners added, "As vaccines are proving their safety and efficacy and are being approved by regulatory agencies, the proportion of people within the U.S. willing to get the vaccine has increased by six points over the last quarter, from 52% in September to 58% in December. The U.S. does not have the same demographic gaps other markets have seen: there was no substantial gap in the willingness to take the vaccine based on age or income. However, there are still stark gaps in who is willing to take the vaccine: 41% of women said they would definitely or likely not take a vaccine, compared to 23% of men, and 33% of Republicans indicated that they would not, or likely would not, take a vaccine, compared to 24% of Democrats.
"Additionally, following widespread vaccinations, over half of American respondents indicated they were interested in continuing to work from home part of the time (60%), or all of the time (51%). Both responses were substantially higher than the other markets surveyed. Nearly half of American respondents also indicated that they would seek a new employer if they did not receive this flexibility. In line with this, 70% of U.S. respondents indicated that they would seek a greater work life balance following the pandemic," according to Ms. Manners.
Moreover, the survey found that public opinion of American institutions has decreased since September, with the exception of the CDC, which rose slightly to a 33% approval rating. The percentages of respondents who believed local and state governments, the federal government, and President Donald Trump were handling the pandemic "well" have decreased since September, with local governments reaching an all-time low at 14% approval.
In assessing the positive and negative impacts of certain industries during the pandemic, there were clear winners and losers across the U.S. sectors. Top winners were food and other essential retail and online retailers, while hospitality and travel were ranked least favorably.
Comparing the U.S. to the other countries surveyed (at the time the latest survey was conducted):
Methodology and Full Results
About Kekst CNC
Kekst CNC is a leading global strategic communication consultancy. The team of over 250 experienced professionals serve clients from 14 offices in New York, London, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Dallas, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Stockholm. As trusted advisors, the firm contributes its expertise on such high-stake matters as: M&A, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations, litigation support, investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, change management and employee engagement, as well as digital and social communications. For more information, please visit: www.kekstcnc.com.
For the U.S.
For the U.K., France, Germany, and Sweden
SOURCE: Kekst CNC