Providing a concrete example of just how bad the pandemic has been for women, a new poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News reveals that a quarter of women surveyed feel they are worse off financially today than they were one year ago.
Highlighting just how bad the combination of a poor economy, job loss (dubbed the female recession or “she-cession”), stay-at-home orders and quarantining has been on working women, the Post’s Heather Long and Emily Guskin reported that “women and people of color are the most likely to say they are financially worse off today than before the pandemic began, underscoring the struggles many Americans are still facing even as the broader economy shows signs of improvement.”
According to the poll results, 25% of those surveyed told pollsters that “their family’s financial situation is worse today than before the coronavirus-related shutdowns began in March 2020, compared to 18% of men,” Long and Guskin said. “And 27% of non-Whites [also] say they are worse off now vs. 18% of Whites.”
“Women and workers of color were far more likely to lose jobs when the pandemic took hold last spring and wiped out millions of service-sector jobs in restaurants, hotels, spas, salons and non-urgent health-care fields,” Long and Guskin reported. “Women have also borne the majority of the child-care responsibilities as schools and day-care centers shuttered and classes moved online, requiring additional parental involvement.”
To conduct the survey, The Post and ABC surveyed a random sampling of 1,007 adults by phone. Approximately 75% of those polled were reached on cellphones, with the remaining 25% on landlines.
Other key findings from the survey:
– 1 in 5 Americans believe that their family’s financial situation is worse now than it was before the shutdowns occurred.
– More people of color report that their family finances have gotten worse since the pandemic began than whites — 23% of Black adults and 30% of Hispanic adults.
– Younger women have been hit harder than older women; 29% of women under 65 believe their financial situation is worse today, compared to just 10% of women over retirement age.
– Americans without college degrees have been impacted far more than individuals with degrees. “Nearly a quarter of adults without a four-year college degree (24%) say their finances are worse today than a year ago, along with 21% of those with bachelor’s degrees, while a smaller 11% of those with a master’s degree or higher say the same,” Long and Guskin reported.
– Outside of money, a staggering 21% of those surveyed said they believed that their relationships with friends and family had gotten weaker since the pandemic began. However, this is one rare area where women do appear to be doing better than men; 20% of women surveyed believe their relationships with friends and family have gotten stronger over the last year, whereas only 13% of men are able to say the same.