Coronavirus Pandemic Sees Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Either Lose Their Job or Have Their Hours Reduced: New Poll

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a new poll shows nearly 1 in 5 Americans have seen a reduction in their work hours or have been let go from their job.

The survey was conducted by The Marist Poll in conjunction with NPR and PBS News Hour and asked 835 American adults if they or someone in their household had been let go or had their work hours reduced during the coronavirus pandemic. The poll was conducted via telephone from March 13 to March 14 and has a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

According to the poll, 18 percent of adults stated they or someone in their household has experienced a reduction in work hours or have been let go by their job. The percentage does not include unemployed or retired adults.

On the other hand, 82 percent of adults polled said they, nor someone living in their household, have not experienced a reduction in work hours or have been let go by their job.

The poll then subdivided the adults surveyed into different groups, such as their political party identification, household income, education age and gender. According to the poll, American adults that have a household income of less than $50,000 saw the biggest impact on their jobs from the coronavirus, with 25 percent stating that either they or someone in their household had seen a reduction in work hours or have been let go.

As COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, spreads in the United States, measures have been taken by state governors and mayors of large cities to help contain the illness that includes temporarily closing places where large groups may gather, including bars, restaurants and movie theatres. Retailers including Apple and Nike have closed their stores, while others have reduced hours, cutting into available hours for the employees. In many cases, the stores do not offer paid leave time, putting employees in financial straits.

Coronavirus U.S.
A restaurant sits closed in the early evening in Brooklyn after a decree that all bars and restaurants shutdown by 8 pm in New York City as much of the nation slows and takes extra precautions due to the continued spreading of the coronavirus on March 16, 2020 in New York City, United States. Spencer Platt/Getty

The poll also asked if Americans felt the federal government was doing enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. According to the poll, 46 percent felt that the government was "doing enough" while 44 percent felt that it was "not doing enough." Ten percent said they were "unsure."

Another aspect of the poll found the level of concern for American adults in regard to the spread of the virus in their community. According to the poll, 31 percent felt "very concerned," 39 percent felt "concerned," 21 percent felt "not very concerned," and 9 percent felt "not concerned at all."

In addition, the poll also asked respondents if they have changed their work routine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the poll, 33 percent, excluding those who are retired or unemployed, have changed their work routine during the pandemic. Sixty-six percent said they have not seen a change in their work routine.

The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China but has continued to spread, infecting over 185,000 people worldwide. According to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University, in the U.S. there are over 4,600 confirmed cases and at least 85 deaths related to the virus.