All states have now reopened at least partially as the spread of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has gradually decreased, but the economic and social effects of the pandemic will be long-lasting. Consumers’ perceptions of their safety – or lack thereof – will be a big factor in how quickly the economy recovers, and many people will alter their daily habits for years to come. As people consider the devastating unemployment caused by COVID-19, they also look for ways to protect themselves in the future. About 73.5 million Americans now plan to look for a job that is more pandemic-proof, according to a recent nationally representative WalletHub survey.
This survey examined what Americans think about the future of the economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, including how comfortable people are with traveling and shopping in person, as well as how soon they think the U.S. will recover financially. Below are additional highlights, along with commentary from a panel of experts and a description of our methodology.
- Travel and dining will continue to take a hit until there’s a vaccine. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans won't feel comfortable getting on an airplane until there is a vaccine (plus, 27 percent won’t feel comfortable staying in a hotel and 21 percent won’t feel comfortable dining out).
- Most Americans want a non-tax solution for recovery. Around 28 percent of Americans think that tax rates should increase to fund coronavirus recovery efforts.
- People view a full recovery in employment as far off. Almost 80 percent of Americans don't think the unemployment rate will drop to pre-COVID-19 levels until at least the end of 2021, if at all.
- Many people want to find more stable jobs. 73.5 million Americans plan on looking for a job that is more pandemic-proof.
Ask the Experts
Americans’ attitudes differ about reopening and the future of the economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide more insight, WalletHub turned to a panel of experts. Click on the pictures of the experts below to see their bios and responses to the following key questions:
- WalletHub's survey found that almost 35 million Americans plan to move as a result of the coronavirus pandemic - what do you think their main motivations are? And, health concerns aside, is it a good time to move?
- What advice do you have for the 73.5 million Americans who plan to look for a job that is more pandemic-proof?
- What is the best way for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on products from China without hurting Americans consumers too badly?
- When do you anticipate the unemployment rate returning to normal levels?
Ask the Experts
This report reflects the results of a nationally representative online survey of over 400 respondents.
After we collected all responses, we normalized the data by age, gender and income so the sample would reflect U.S. demographics.
Full Details Overall
|When will you feel comfortable getting on an airplane?|
|When there is a vaccine||39%|
|When will you feel comfortable staying in a hotel?|
|When there is a vaccine||27%|
|When will you feel comfortable dining out?|
|When there is a vaccine||21%|
|When do you think the unemployment rate will drop to pre-COVID19 levels?|
|By the end of 2021||40%|
|By the end of 2022||31%|
|By the end of 2020||22%|
|Do you plan to look for a job that is more pandemic-proof?|
|Do you plan to move as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?|
|After the economy recovers, should tax rates go up to cover the cost of the coronavirus pandemic?|
|What would make you feel most comfortable shopping in-person again?|
|Everyone wearing masks||34%|
|I am already comfortable||30%|
|Nothing until there is a vaccine||23%|
|Hand sanitizing stations||8%|
|Plexiglass shields at register||6%|
|Do you support reducing our reliance on products from China, even if it means higher prices at the register?|
|Should the U.S. outsource essential products (masks, medicine, etc.) needed for national security?|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.