WASHINGTON — As the United States stops to celebrate its resilient workforce, a new survey finds many Americans are spending Labor Day worrying how long their jobs will last. One in three people say they’re concerned about their job security during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, over half the country thinks they’re working harder now than before COVID-19 struck.
A WalletHub poll of over 400 Americans finds most of the country agree they need a helping hand to recover from the pandemic. Nearly three in four people (74%) believe Congress needs to extend enhanced unemployment benefits until the health crisis ends. One recent survey on economic stimulus shows more than eight in ten Americans want another stimulus check. Support for federal help is even higher among low-income Americans (83%) while remaining strong among high-income workers (63%).
As 30 percent of respondents worry about possible layoffs this year, researchers also find many workers feel mistreated during the pandemic. Just under 40 percent of Americans say their managers have “taken advantage of” them during COVID-19. Half the poll feels they are being treated fairly and 12 percent believe management has been generous to their employees.
A very different Labor Day weekend
It’s usually the last party of the summer, but the pandemic is turning Labor Day into a much different holiday in 2020. Last year, a report by Airlines for America predicted a record 17.5 million passengers traveling on U.S. airlines for Labor Day.
This year, WalletHub’s survey reveals 75 percent of respondents are not traveling during the holiday weekend. Over half the poll (52%) say they are spending less money this summer than last. One in four people say they are actually spending more cash this year. Despite being a big weekend for sales traditionally, six in 10 people add they are not going shopping on Labor Day either.
One of the biggest reasons for this shift is the concern over social distancing. Researchers say 77 percent don’t trust their fellow Americans to act responsibly and observe proper safety measures during the holiday weekend.
“Adults under 30 years old are more than twice as likely as those aged 59+ to trust that others will practice social distancing. This makes sense considering the fact that the elderly are more vulnerable to serious symptoms from COVID-19 and thus must practice an especially high level of caution,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says in a statement.
For those Americans planning to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, face masks are the wardrobe of choice. Over 40 percent say everyone wearing face coverings is enough to make them feel comfortable going out to do Labor Day shopping. One in five say they’re already comfortable going back outside despite the pandemic.
Although travel may be down in 2020, American drivers are expressing a new appreciation for not having to rely on trains or buses. Over two in three (69%) say the pandemic makes them grateful they own their own car.