Job-Related Concerns Weigh Heavier on Latinos, City Dwellers

Job-Related Concerns Weigh Heavier on Latinos, City Dwellers

Survey looks at coronavirus pandemic worries by race, geographic location
A young woman in a city

Though the coronavirus pandemic has changed life for most Americans, some groups have more concerns about the financial implications.

One’s optimism about their ability to withstand the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis may hinge on their demographic, according to research by the American Staffing Association (ASA), an advocacy organization for the recruiting industry.

For people of color and those who live in urban areas, the pandemic has significantly fueled more financial anxiety.

Latinos most likely to have job-related concerns

While economic anxiety has been rising across the board during the pandemic, Latinos are most concerned about employment-related issues, followed by Black and white workers, the ASA survey found.

For example, nearly 6 in 10 Latinos (58%) said they were worried about losing their job, versus 50% of Black and 40% of white workers.

Latinos were also more concerned about their ability to find a job.

Specifically:

  • 68% of Latino workers were worried about finding a job, compared with 54% of Black and 45% of white workers.
  • 62% of Latino workers were worried about needing new skills to get a job, compared with 56% of Black and 44% of white workers.
  • 57% of Latino workers were concerned about a career change or new role, compared with 55% of Black and 42% of white workers.

In addition to having employment concerns, people of color were more likely to be worried about being able to handle their everyday expenses.

When it comes to housing costs, nearly two-thirds of Latinos (65%) were concerned about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage, compared with 58% of Black and 44% of white consumers. Latinos were also more likely to worry about making their student loan payments, with 58% expressing concerns, compared with 53% of Black and 38% of white consumers.

Black respondents, however, were most likely to worry about child care costs. More than half of Black respondents (53%) said they feared they wouldn’t be able to handle child care costs, compared with 51% of Latino and 34% of white consumers.

Majority of city dwellers worried about finding a new job

Despite assumptions that urban areas have more employment opportunities than rural areas, those who live in cities are most concerned about finding a job.

In fact, 58% of city residents are worried about finding a new job, compared with 51% of those in the suburbs and 47% of those living in rural areas.

When asked if they were worried about needing new skills to land a job, the following percentages said yes:

  • 56% of city residents
  • 47% of suburban residents
  • 46% of rural residents

City residents also had more day-to-day financial concerns. For example, nearly 6 in 10 respondents (58%) who lived in cities said they were worried about paying their rent or mortgage, compared with 45% each for those living in the suburbs and those living in rural areas.

Such concerns may be contributing to an overall dissatisfaction with city living. In fact, an earlier survey found that more than one-third of millennial renters were thinking about moving out of cities within the next year.

Methodology: This data represents the latest findings from the ASA Workforce Monitor, a periodic survey of American workers conducted by opinion research firm The Harris Poll. For this particular survey, the ASA commissioned The Harris Poll to poll 2,065 adults between June 16 to 18, 2020.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.