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COVID-19 and Reimagining Work

New York Times|SurveyMonkey poll: June 2020

New York Times|SurveyMonkey poll: June 2020

Though a startling 17% of people nationwide say they have lost their job since the start of the coronavirus outbreak three months ago, 29% have already returned to work, according to a June New York Times|SurveyMonkey survey. Even further, 34% of those who have not yet returned to work say they expect to go back to their previous job in the next month. 

The survey results indicate that the rate of job loss due to coronavirus has declined over the past few months. Among those who are not employed (but who are not retirees or students), just 4% say they have been out of work for a few weeks or less, 7% for about a month, 17% for about two months, and 23% for about three months--which would approximately coincide with the start of the stay-at-home orders in the U.S. 

About half of people (49%) who are not employed say they’ve filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks, and 56% of those who have applied were successful. In May, 55% of recent unemployment insurance filings were unsuccessful. 

Nearly seven in 10 workers (69%) say they are not worried about losing their job in the coming weeks, up from 64% in May. About half of workers (49%) continue to say they’ve been able to work from home because of the coronavirus outbreak, and 39% also continue to say their hours have been cut or their income has been reduced due to the pandemic. Those numbers are essentially unchanged since May.

The coronavirus outbreak has been both a health crisis and an economic crisis, and in the past month Americans’ health concerns have waned and their economic concerns have risen. 

More than half of people (54%) now say the coronavirus outbreak is more of an economic crisis for the country as a whole, while 44% now say it is more of a health crisis. That’s nearly a mirror image of the results from May (45% economic crisis, 53% health crisis). 

A wide majority of people (71%) are worried about the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus cases in the fall, including nearly four in 10 people (38%) who are “very worried.” Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics are all more worried than whites about the threat of a resurgence.

Majorities of Democrats, independents, and even moderate or liberal Republicans say they are worried that the U.S. will experience a new wave of cases in the fall. The one group who remains unconcerned is conservative or very conservative Republicans, just 43% of whom say they are worried, including only 13% who are “very worried.”

Overall, 45% of people approve of the way President Trump is handling the federal government’s coronavirus response, but that number shoots up to 87% among Republicans and GOP leaners, falls to 38% among independents, and crashes to 9% among Democrats and Democratic leaners. 

Four in 10 people (40%) say Joe Biden would have done a better job managing the coronavirus response, about as many (38%) who say he would have done a worse job. Another 19% say he would have done about the same as Trump. Among Republicans, some 7% say Biden would have done a better job than Trump at managing the response, and 12% say he would have done about the same.

For more detailed results, click through the interactive toplines below.
Read more about our polling methodology here