Air of Despair: 57% of Unemployed Americans Blame COVID-19 for Job Loss
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Air of Despair: 57% of Unemployed Americans Blame COVID-19 for Job Loss

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 9, 2020 // PRNewswire // - The majority of unemployed Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic is most responsible for their job loss and continued unemployment, which is becoming more daunting as time passes. 

This is according to a newly released survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Express Employment Professionals. An expanded analysis of the full results, including survey methodology, can be found here.

More than 2 in 5 unemployed adults (41%) have been out of work for six months or less, becoming unemployed during the pandemic. The most common reason they are unemployed is their job or position was eliminated due to COVID-19 (33%), followed by they quit (12%) or were laid off (11%).

The national survey of 1,504 U.S. unemployed adults ages 18 and older was conducted online by The Harris Poll between Oct. 15 and Oct. 28, 2020. It offers a detailed, in-depth look at who is unemployed and why.

Efforts Deteriorating in Job Search

Finding a job is the top priority for the majority of unemployed adults (70%). On average, they spend 12 hours a week looking for work. Unemployed adults applied to 11 jobs in the previous month but only had one interview, on average.

Grim Financial Outlook

More than 2 in 3 unemployed adults (69%) do not feel financially secure right now, and 70% believe they do not have enough savings to survive unemployment much longer. The most common sources of income during this time are savings (40%) or financial support from friends and family members (29%).

Relying on Unemployment Benefits

Looking at national and state unemployment benefits, 3 in 4 (75%) agree there is not enough financial support provided to those individuals who are unemployed, especially given that more than half (56%) used to be the breadwinner for their household.

Twenty-seven percent of unemployed adults report they currently rely on unemployment compensation benefits. The average income from unemployment benefits among those receiving them is $828 a month.

Accepting Less than Ideal Job Offers

Because of difficulties in the current job process and increased competition from other job seekers, 85% would be willing to accept some aspects of a job that may be less than ideal if they were offered a job right now. If offered a job right now, they would most commonly be willing to accept a job not in their desired field (47%), that requires long hours (35%) and a more junior position/title (29%).

About the Survey

  • Memo from The Harris Poll
  • Study by The Harris Poll
  • Infographic

About Express Employment Professionals

At Express Employment Professionals, we're in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, our international network of franchises offer localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve, employing 552,000 people across North America in 2019. For more information, visit

SOURCE Express Employment Professionals



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