Women and Economic Anxiety

Click here to download the Women and Economic Anxiety study from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

Women in the U.S. are losing sleep over their financial situations, feel more anxious than men about their personal financial circumstances, and are less likely than men to say the economy is strong. For women of color in the U.S., the differences are even more pronounced. The latest data from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll shows major disparities in how women and men perceive the U.S. economy as well as their personal economies, and for nearly all women it is a stressful story.

According to our national exit poll data from the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, women leaned vastly more to voting for Democrats, and data from The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll allows us some insight into the economic views of American women that may have motivated these choices.

The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is a regular series of surveys examining how the U.S. population feels about their personal economy and financial situation in the landscape of the broader U.S. economy. It paints a compelling story about women and their current relationship with finances and the economy.

The Economic Anxiety Index is a tool designed by Edison Research and Marketplace to measure the amount of stress a person feels about their individual financial situation through a series of twelve questions regarding job security, saving and expenses, and general financial anxiety.

Principal Findings:

  • Women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than men (26 v. 22).
  • Non-white women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than women in general (30 v. 26).
  • Women are less likely than men to say the U.S. economy is strong (50% v. 70%), and only 37% of non-white women say the U.S. economy is strong.
  • Healthcare is by far the top national economic issue of concern for women with 35% of women citing it as their number one concern among a list of seven items, including taxes, immigration, and rising prices.
  • Women are less likely than men to say they are financially secure (31% v. 42%).
  • Women are more likely than men to lose sleep over their personal financial situation (35% v. 26%). Non-white women (38%) are slightly more likely than all women to lose sleep over finances.
  • The majority of women feel that Washington has forgotten them. Seventy-four percent of non-white women and 69% of all women say that the government in Washington has forgotten about people like them.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,058 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of the economy were conducted from September 25, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (www.edisonresearch.com) conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

 

Americans and the Gig Economy

Click here to download the Edison Research Marketplace Poll Gig Economy report 12.12.18

Almost one-fourth of American adults earn money in the gig economy, and the ones who earn their primary income in the gig economy are much more likely to have anxiety and feel financially insecure than non-gig workers.

T­­­wenty-four percent of Americans earn at least some income from “gig” work, such as driving for Uber or Lyft, selling products or services online, or working in some type of freelance capacity. Gig work may be the primary or secondary source of income, and as this study shows, those who rely on the gig economy as their primary source of income are more likely to have high anxiety levels, fear unexpected expenses, and feel financially insecure.

The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is a regular series of surveys that examines how the U.S. population feels about their personal economy and financial situation in the landscape of the larger U.S. economy. The Economic Anxiety Index is a tool designed by Edison Research and Marketplace to measure the amount of stress a person feels about their individual financial situation through a series of twelve questions regarding job security, saving and expenses, and general financial anxiety.

Only 24% of those who are employed (not in the gig economy) have an Economic Anxiety Index score over 50. Almost half, 45%, of those who rely on gig work as a primary source of income have an Economy Anxiety Index score over 50.

“Our research shows that there are really two gig economies: one where gig jobs serve as the primary livelihood for employees, and one where they provide supplemental income. The 44% of Americans working in the gig economy who depend on gig work as their primary source of income show deep economic anxiety, which merits further study,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.

Key findings include:

  • 24% of Americans earn some income from the gig economy.
  • For 44% of gig workers, their work in the gig economy is their primary source of income.
  • For 53% of gig workers aged 18-34, their work in the gig economy is their primary source of income.
  • Men are more likely to be employed in the gig economy than women. Thirty-one percent of men say they earn money through the gig economy compared with 18% of women.
  • 31% of Hispanic adults 18+ earn money through the gig economy,compared to 27% of African Americans and 21% of White adults.
  • 45% of those who rely on gig work as their primary source of income have an Anxiety Index Score over 50, compared to only 24% of those employed but not in the gig economy.
  • 80% of gig employees whose gig work is the primary source of income say that an unexpected expense of $1,000 would be difficult to pay.
  • 28% of those who rely on gig work as their primary source of income say they are not financially secure compared to 20% of those employed but not in the gig economy.
  • 51% of gig workers say they work harder for their income than those in traditional jobs.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,044 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of the gig economy were conducted from February 14, 2018 to February 20, 2018. This is the first time that the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll has included questions about earning money through the gig economy.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (www.edisonresearch.com) conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institute, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, Sirius XM Radio, and Univision Communications. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison conducts more than 100,000 interviews in a single day for this project. Edison provided exit polls and tabulated the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News in the 2018 U.S. elections and will do so again in 2020.

Marketplace Edison Research Poll

Marketplace and Edison Research Reveal a Dramatic Shift in How Partisans Perceive Economic Data

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was famously quoted as saying “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” In the case of economic data, however, this may not be true. In the October 2018 edition of the Marketplace/Edison Research Economic Anxiety Index poll, we asked a sample of Americans how much they trusted data about the economy that is reported by the Federal Government. 60% said that they at least “somewhat” trust the data, up from 55% in October 2016. And the most extreme reaction, “Do not trust it at all,” declined from 25% to 14%.

However, if we dig a little deeper into this question, we find something remarkable. The October 2016 survey was, obviously, fielded right before the Presidential Election, in the waning days of Barack Obama’s administration. The competing worldviews in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not have been more different: while Clinton ran on a platform of continuing the policies of the Obama administration, Trump ran under the argument that America was not, as surveys frequently ask, “on the right track.”

At the time of the October 2016 survey, U.S. unemployment was at roughly 5%, a number which is certainly below average (i.e., more towards full employment) compared to historical trends (by comparison, five years prior to October 2016, the unemployment rate exceeded 9%). So, with the government reporting “good” news, those who were currently aligned with the administration were more likely to believe that news. However, economic prosperity is never evenly distributed, a fact that then-Candidate Trump used to his advantage when he campaigned in pockets of America that had seen significant declines in manufacturing and well-paying jobs. If you lived in Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan, your local economy was not doing well, regardless of what the national statistics said.

As a result, there was a sharp disparity between how Clinton supporters felt about government statistics, and how Trump supporters felt, as we reported back in 2016. Then, the 55% trust/45% distrust by the total sample masked a significant partisan divide. While 86% of Clinton supporters trusted government economic statistics, only 31% of Trump supporters felt the same—indeed, 48% of Trump supporters indicated that they didn’t trust these stats at all, compared to 5% of Clinton supporters. With Republicans and Democrats overall, these differences were still highly significant: 78% of Democrats trusted government economic data, compared to 38% of Republicans.

How you interpreted this disparity likely depended on where you personally identified yourself politically. If you were a Democrat, you likely would have been inclined to cite Senator Moynihan’s quote, above. But if you were a Republican, you would likely have made the argument that the facts on the ground are different; that, despite what the national statistics say, there are significant pockets of America that are economically only getting worse. Both sides, in other words, were demanding to be entitled to their own facts.

This year we had a remarkable opportunity to revisit this phenomenon, once again just prior to a significant election, only now under a Republican administration. As noted above, the degree of trust in government statistics did tick up by five percentage points, and it should also be noted that unemployment today is even lower (currently 3.7%) than it was two years ago. While the percentage of those who trust government economic data did rise modestly from 55% to 60%, that rise once again masks a significant partisan divide.

Trust in Economic Data by Party

The October 2018 data show that the “trusters” have completely flipped positions from 2016. Today, 73% of Republicans trust government data (compared to 38% in 2016) and 51% of Democrats trust these data (compared to 78% in 2016.) This is truly a remarkable shift in just a two-year period. The percentage of Republicans who “do not trust [government economic data] at all” declined from 37% to 7%. And the “somewhat distrust” figures for Democrats rose from 12% to 32%, nearly tripling in two years.

The opportunity to revisit this question under a new administration has given us a profound insight into how Americans from either side of the aisle perceive government communications. While one might have been tempted in 2016 to proclaim that Republicans were willfully ignoring “good” economic news, the truth is that both sides are inclined to believe “facts” when they are presented by their party, and less likely when they are presented by the opposition party. Yet, the underlying data is the same: unemployment statistics tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just as they have been since 1948.

All of which brings us back to Senator Moynihan. Perhaps we are all entitled to our own facts, after all.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 2018

To view and download complete study: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: #metoo, Women, Men, and the Gig Economy

Twenty-one percent of Americans say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace: 27% of women and 14% of men say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. Among the 24% of Americans working in the gig economy, 30% of them say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. These are some of the many findings from the recently released Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: #metoo, Women, Men, and the Gig Economy report from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

In early 2018, shortly after the #metoo movement gained momentum, Edison Research and Marketplace fielded the latest iteration of the Marketplace-Edison Research poll. This study asked a module of questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, and the results provide valuable insights into this issue among American workers.

“The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll has provided unique insights into the lives of the American population for several years, and we recognize the importance of addressing this issue through the survey for the first time,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.

Other key findings include:

  • Among those who have experienced sexual harassment at work, 50% of women and 64% of men agree that the harassment in the workplace hurt their career.
  • Fifty-two percent of those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace say they made a job change because of the harassment. Forty-six percent of women and 64% of men agree they changed jobs because of sexual harassment at work.
  • Only 25% of women who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace strongly agree they could report an incident to their employers without fear. Forty-one percent of men who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace strongly agree they could report an incident to their employers without fear.
  • Of those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, women are less likely than men to strongly agree that the incident was handled properly by their employer. Only 30% of women and 53% of men strongly agree that their employer handled the incident properly.
  • Those in rural areas are more likely to have experienced incidents of sexual harassment at work than those in other areas. Twenty-six percent of those in rural areas, compared to 21% in urban and 18% in suburban areas, have been sexually harassed at work.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,044 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of sexual harassment were conducted from February 14, 2018 to February 20, 2018.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (www.edisonresearch.com) conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institution, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, Sirius XM Radio, and Univision Communications. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison conducts more than 100,000 interviews in a single day for this project. For the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.

New Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Finds Americans Still Fear Recession Decade after Financial Crash

SOMERVILLE, March 7, 2018— While a majority of Americans (59 percent) think it is likely there will be a recession in the next year, 54 percent of Americans age 25 and older say that their personal financial situation is better today than it was ten years ago, according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

“The numbers here tell an interesting story about how differently Americans are experiencing the current economy,” said Deborah Clark, senior vice president and general manager of Marketplace. “Understanding these diverse experiences is crucial to our mission of increasing the economic intelligence of all Americans and our reporting will dive deeper into individual lives and circumstances represented in the latest poll.”

Since 2015, Marketplace and Edison Research have used responses to the poll to develop the Economic Anxiety Index®, a unique measure of the American economy. The number on a scale from 0-100 is calculated from answers to a battery of questions. The Economic Anxiety Index® describes just how stressed out people feel about their personal financial situation. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling.

The Economic Anxiety Index® mean score across all demographics for the latest poll is 31, though it varies widely among subgroups. The index is down from 32 since April 2017.

Read more about the findings from latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll and the Economic Anxiety Index® at Marketplace.org.

Key Findings 

  • The Economic Anxiety Index® is down from April 2017 – 32 to 31.
  • 62 percent of those who agree that the economy is strong say it’s thanks to the private sector.
  • 25-34 year-olds and African-Americans are the most anxious about their personal economic situations. On the job front, hourly workers and gig economy workers are the most anxious.
  • 49 percent of whites say income inequality has increased, versus 51 percent of African-Americans and 58 percent of Hispanics.
  • A little over half of all Americans think that the economy is strong. For those who think the economy is strong, the anxiety index is 27 – four points lower than the average of all Americans.

Recession

  • Despite the Anxiety Increase decreasing, nearly six in ten Americans (59 percent) think it is likely there will be a recession in the next year. Recent volatility in the stock market may be one of the reasons Americans are concerned about a recession.
  • More than half of Hispanics and whites said their financial situation is better today than it was in 2008, while less than half of African-Americans said they are better off today than ten years ago.
  • Women were more likely to say they’ve still not recovered from the recession —18 percent vs 10 percent for men.
  • Respondents age 25-34 were most likely to say recession impacted them more than most Americans.

Sexual Harassment 

  • 21 percent of Americans have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace – 27 percent of women and 14 percent of men. 62 percent of respondents affected said it caused them to change their job; 55 percent said it hurt their overall career.
  • When broken down by race, 22 percent of whites, 16 percent of Hispanics, and 15 percent of African-Americans, report sexual harassment.
  • And when broken down by age, people between 55-64 report the highest rates of sexual harassment at work.

Gig Economy

  • 24 percent of Americans earn money in the gig economy; this group is 61 percent male. 53 percent of gig workers consider income from gigs as a secondary income. 44 percent of those that earn their money from the gig economy say it’s their primary source of income.

Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Methodology
The Marketplace Edison Research Survey is a national survey of Americans ages 18 years and older.  A total of 1,040 respondents were interviewed with 500 interviews conducted by telephone and 540 interviews conducted online.  Among the telephone interviews, 296 were conducted via a landline phone and 204 interviews conducted via a cell phone.

The average length of the telephone interviews was twenty minutes.  The telephone interviews were conducted from February 14th – 19th 2018.

The data was weighted to match the most recent United States population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for age, gender, race, income and region of the country.

About Marketplace
Marketplace® is on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country. Its core programs – Marketplace®, Marketplace Morning Report®, Marketplace Weekend® and Marketplace Tech® – are currently broadcast on more than 800 public radio stations nationwide and heard by 14.6 million weekly listeners. Marketplace podcasts including Make Me Smart with Kai and MollyThe Uncertain Hour® and Corner Office can be found at Marketplace.org or on your favorite podcast app. The Marketplace portfolio of programs are produced and distributed by American Public Media®, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. For more information on Marketplace, visit marketplace.org, follow us on Twitter @marketplace or like us on Facebook. For more information on American Public Media, visit americanpublicmedia.org.

About Edison Research
Since its founding in 1994, Edison Research has conducted over 11,000 research assignments in 38 countries. Edison works with a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institute, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Siemens, SiriusXM Radio, and Univision Communications.

Since 2003, Edison Research has been the sole provider of exit poll information to the National Election Poll, having conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.  This exit poll is the largest single-day survey research project in the world, collecting more than 100,000 interviews in the 2016 General Election.

 

Media Contacts:
Mary Meyn, Edison Research — mmeyn@edisonresearch.com
Mark Larson, Marketplace — mark.larson@fleishman.com