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  • Application for Unemployment Benefits and Employment Service

    Application for Unemployment Benefits and Employment Service | Photo: AFP

Published 24 July 2020
Opinion

Poll shows nearly half of US citizens whose families were laid off during the pandemic believe those jobs have been lost forever.

An AP and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll reveals that 47 percent of U.S. citizens whose families were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic believe the lost job won't return permanently or likely.

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That means about 10 million workers will have to change employers or even jobs.

Initially, there was optimism that those jobs would be regained. By last April, 78 percent believed the situation would be temporary.

In the wake of the crisis accentuated by the impact of COVID-19 in the United States, temporary job cuts are becoming permanent with business closures, bankruptcies and payroll reductions.

Besides, many underage students will start the school year remotely, which means an obstacle to parents looking for work outside the home.

According to the survey, 72% of Americans prefer restrictions to stop the spread of coronaviruses rather than mitigate them to boost the economy. Only 27% prefer to prioritize the economy over efforts to contain the outbreak.

Half of Americans say they or a family member have lost a source of income during the pandemic. 27% report a layoff, 33% a reduction in working hours, 24% unpaid leave and 29% a reduction in pay. 18 percent of those who lost a job say they have recovered it and another 34 percent hope to get it back.

The poll reaffirms the uneven impact of the pandemic. About six out of 10 non-white U.S. citizens say they have lost a source of income, compared to half of white Americans. On the other hand, 46 percent of those with a college degree say they have lost a source of income, compared to 56 percent of those without one.

The AP-NORC survey was conducted July 16-20 with a sample from NORC's AmeriSpeak panel, designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The sampling error margin is plus/minus 4.3 percentage points.

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