More than half of American workers are "very concerned" about their own jobs, and over one third (36%) worry that their companies will collapse due to COVID-19-related financial challenges, according to the findings of the first Kekst CNC COVID-19 international tracking survey.
The data shows that Americans are split, however, on whether their confidence has increased in the federal government's ability to handle the crisis.
Graphs: Global breakout of concern about job loss and household finances, worry about company collapse
Importantly, the data also showed an uptick in confidence in local government, with 40% of Americans saying their confidence in local government agencies has recently increased.
Americans also expect businesses to step up—and plan to reward them for doing so. Specifically, a majority (62%) said they will be far more likely to financially support businesses that performed well during the outbreak. This trend is by no means unique to Millennials: 68% of 55-64 year olds and those over the age of 65 also agreed.
The survey also found that significant percentages of both Republicans (45%) and Democrats (48%) support government bailouts for businesses facing trouble because of the outbreak.
The research, carried out among a representative sample of 4,000 adults, including 1,000 in the U.S. between March 30th and April 3rd, alongside similar numbers in the U.K., Sweden, and Germany found that Americans currently predict the starkest long-term behavior changes. A net 14% of Americans predicted they would travel domestically less often after the crisis. By contrast, a net 12% of U.K. respondents predicted they would travel more.
Commenting on these findings, James Johnson, Senior Advisor at Kekst CNC, said: "The impact of COVID-19 is seen to be long-term and the public want our institutions and our companies to stand up and be counted. They support further government intervention in significant numbers, recognize the efforts that some companies and institutions are making, and will reward those who are supporting the national effort. These results have implications for businesses and their Boards, as well as policy makers, confirming public backing for prioritizing saving lives over protecting the economy, alongside an appetite for government intervention to support companies of all sizes. The data shows how important good corporate citizenship is today, and the benefits that can accrue in the future."
The U.S. in Context (as of the time the survey was conducted)
- Of the four markets surveyed, the United States has seen by far the highest number of COVID-19 job losses (19%) and has the highest proportion of people expecting to lose their jobs (23%)
- The U.S. public is most concerned about losing their jobs (54% compared to 41% in the U.K.) and the effect of COVID-19 on household finances (57% compared to 46% in the U.K.)
- The United States is the only market where on balance, federal government has disappointed with a net decline in public confidence of 6%
- U.S. employees are those most likely to say they have not had enough support (33% compared to 18% in the U.K.)
- Americans predict the most dramatic changes in post-crisis behavior, with bigger numbers saying they will avoid largescale public events (net 31% less), travel abroad less (net 28% less), and eat out at restaurants less frequently (net 20% less)
Methodology and Full Results
- Nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults in The United States, 1,000 adults in Great Britain, 1,000 adults in Germany, and 1,000 adults in Sweden
- Fieldwork took place March 30th – April 3rd 2020
- Quotas and weights on gender, age, and region in each country
- Margins of error of +/- 3.3% for all countries
- Full results of the survey available at: https://www.kekstcnc.com/insights/covid-19-opinion-tracker-edition-1
About Kekst CNC
Kekst CNC is a leading global strategic communication consultancy. The team of over 250 experienced professionals serve clients from 13 offices in New York, London, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Stockholm. As trusted advisors, the firm contributes its expertise on such high-stake matters as: M&A, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations, litigation support, investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, change management and employee engagement, as well as digital and social communications. For more information, please visit: www.kekstcnc.com.