New Data Indicates More than 80% of Americans Call Financial Insecurity A Major Problem
August 5, 2020
Prior to the economic collapse caused by COVID-19, an overwhelming majority of Americans understood financial insecurity was a major problem that could affect them at any point and at any income level, and looked to institutions like the government, financial institutions and employers to help fix it, according to a new study by nationally recognized nonprofit Commonwealth, made possible by support from MetLife Foundation.
The findings, revealed in Perceptions of Financial Insecurity in America: A National Survey of Working People in the United States, were the result of a nationally representative survey of 2,000 workers at all income levels in the summer of 2019, prior to the onset of COVID-19 and its accompanying economic devastation.
“This is a call to action for business leaders: a crystal clear signal from Americans that they have a role in shaping a better, more financially secure America,” said Commonwealth co-founder & executive director Timothy Flacke. “As we begin to think about our financial recovery, it’s important that we understand returning to the status quo isn’t good enough.”
The survey results provide context to the experience and perceptions of financial insecurity in America: its pervasiveness, causes, and who should help address it. They also highlight Americans’ experience with financial insecurity and set the groundwork for more productive, empathetic conversations from key stakeholders on creating financial opportunity for all.
Over 80% of respondents indicated that financial insecurity was a major problem for America, and only 30% said that financial insecurity was exclusively a result of personal choices.
“America stands at a profoundly uncomfortable moment in time, but that discomfort presents an opportunity,” Flacke continued. “The data demonstrates that even prior to the COVID economic crisis, Americans understood that financial insecurity was a problem nearly anyone could face, and that institutions such as employers, financial institutions and the government must play an important role in fixing it.”
The report is available by clicking here.
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