ASA Workforce Monitor: People of color are more likely to worry about several financial/job issues amid pandemic

For many Americans, COVID-19 is bringing a heavy dose of economic hardship and anxiety. And, according to the results of the latest American Staffing Association (ASA) Workforce Monitor survey, some groups have more employment and financial worries than others.

Anxiety level greater among Blacks and Hispanic Americans

Finding and keeping a job during these uncertain times has weighed heavier on the minds of certain groups. Compared to White Americans, Black and Hispanic employees expressed greater concerns about job-related issues such as:

  • Finding a job (68% Hispanic/Latino, 54% Black, 45% White)
  • Needing new skills to get a job (62%/56%/44%)
  • Transitioning careers or roles (57%/55%/42%)
  • Losing a job (58%/50%/40%)

Hispanic and Black Americans were also more likely to worry about paying for:

  • Rent/mortgage (65% Hispanic/Latino, 58% Black, 44% White)
  • Student loans (58%/53%/38%)
  • Childcare (51%/53%/34%)

Concerns vary among industries

Among those surveyed, employees in the engineering, IT, and scientific industry faced the most job and financial stress — 67% were anxious about covering childcare costs and 62% worried about losing their employment. Roughly 50% of healthcare and 40% of office/administrative workers shared these concerns.

Uncertainties highest among urban workers

City dwellers were the most likely to worry about paying rent or mortgage — 58% compared to 45% of suburban and rural residents. Paying student loans was also a primary financial concern, with 55% of urban, 38% of suburban, and 39% of rural workers worried about making payments.

Gaps between these different communities were smaller for employment-related concerns, however. About half of Americans in all areas expressed worries about:

  • Finding a job (58% urban, 51% suburban, 47% rural)
  • Needing new skills to get a job (56% urban, 47% suburban, 46% rural)
  • Transitioning careers or roles (55% urban, 44% suburban, 49% rural)

According to Richard Wahlquist, ASA’s president and CEO, temporary and contract work can help support those experiencing instability in their careers and finances. “Staffing agencies across the U.S. are hiring now and are ready to help get the nation back to work.”