At the time of this writing, there have been over 414,000 cases and more than 18,500 deaths worldwide due to Coronavirus. Unfortunately, both of those figures will grow quite significantly in the coming days and weeks.
With such tragedy and instability, economic markets have also taken a substantial hit. A recession seems like a matter of when, not if. Small businesses, especially those in the service sector, are being forced to shut down and lay off employees.
LendEDU, a personal finance company, wanted to see what kind of impact, both financial and job-wise, COVID-19 is having on a more personal level. To do this, 1,000 adult Americans were surveyed on March 18th, 2020, and the results of that survey paint a picture of uncertainty that most Americans must be feeling when it comes to their personal finances.
To start things off, LendEDU’s report found that 35% of Americans have maintained their exact same job despite the impacts of Coronavirus, while 13% have seen hours partially cut, 11% have seen hours completely cut but have still maintained their job, and 6% have been laid off due to COVID-19.
Despite the majority of adults holding onto their job in some form, 57% of them are worried about their job security as Coronavirus continues to profoundly change everyday life.
Amongst those that were employed prior to the pandemic having a serious impact on the U.S., 64% were living paycheck to paycheck. More concerning is that 82% of folks who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 were living paycheck to paycheck before that. Having enough money in the bank account to live life comfortably is clearly going to be an issue for many Americans, which is why lawmakers have agreed upon the need to send most people checks for upwards of $1,000.
With bank accounts tight for most, LendEDU’s survey also found that 44% of Americans have already dipped into a savings account or emergency fund to cover expenses. This percentage jumps to 87% when looking at just respondents who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
On the topic of expenses, LendEDU’s study also found that adults have spent an average of $335.65 on food and supplies to prepare for Coronavirus. And, 42% of poll participants have had to take on more credit card debt than desired to cover these expenses.
As mentioned earlier, the stock market has taken a serious turn for the worse due to the pandemic, and this has Americans worried about their investments. LendEDU found that 63% of applicable respondents are concerned about their retirement savings and plans due to COVID-19. This sentiment rings especially true for older Americans, who had retirement in their sights, as 67% of folks ages 55 and up are worried about their retirement savings and plans.
Further, 79% of adult Americans that had money in the stock market through a personal brokerage account indicated that they lost money due to the fallout of Coronavirus, while only 8% made money. Going forward, the majority of Americans, 52%, plan to hold steady on their market positions, while 21% want to buy more stock, and 13% want to unload stock.
And finally, with budgets tight and job-security weak LendEDU’s report also found that many consumers are concerned about making monthly payments. For example, 57% of respondents are worried about meeting their monthly mortgage payment, and this percentage rockets to 96% for people that have been laid off.
Another 63% of consumers are not feeling confident about meeting the monthly student loan payment, and this jumps to 88% amongst folks who lost their job. Finally, 54% are worried about making the monthly credit card payment, while 93% of those who lost their job are feeling the same worries.
Missing monthly payments for things like a mortgage or student loan debt could have serious implications for the economy at large, which is why we are seeing legislators discuss measures that will do things like suspend evictions or foreclosures and suspend student loan payments and accruing interest for federal student loans.
It is evident that the coming times will be extremely tough for Americans, both financially and mentally. However, the U.S. has always bounced back from such trying times, and there is no doubt this will be any different.