As each week under lockdown passes, the dire statistics measuring the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic only increase in magnitude. These measurements, however, are not solely detailing the lives lost to the virus. FreedomWorks, in an effort to better understand our audience’s concerns and struggles throughout this pandemic, conducted its sixth survey on the COVID-19 crisis this past Friday.
Unemployment has continued to rise steadily throughout the course of the surveys. In a study conducted on March 27, 8% of respondents who are a part of the labor force said they were laid-off due to the pandemic. By our April 11 survey, that number doubled. Our most-recent community analysis puts the unemployment rate at 21%.
Unemployment is not the sole ramification this quarantine period has caused on the workforce. Small business owners, as well as other self-employed FreedomWorks activists, have not faced unemployment in the same ways as our activists who are employed by another individual or company. That being said, many have reported drastic income reductions as their businesses and trades succumb to stay-at-home orders. This past week’s survey showed 40% of self-employed activists have faced pay cuts due to quarantine restrictions, compared to 20% of the overall labor force in the study.
In addition, one-third of business owners and self-employed members of our audience report reduced working hours. One-quarter of the overall labor force report this employment effect of the pandemic.
FreedomWorks activists’ concerns were once split between the public health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. However, with most states well into their second month of quarantine restrictions, three-fourths of surveyed individuals now say they are most-concerned about the economic and job market costs of the pandemic. Only 10% say their top concern is health consequences from the virus itself.
Hidden public health concerns from the pandemic are also becoming apparent to our supporters. 9% of those surveyed say they are mostly concerned about increasing depression, alcoholism, and other mental health crises caused by quarantine restrictions.
As our activists feel the wreckage that has come with Coronavirus, their eagerness to resume life and get back to work has skyrocketed. One month ago, 59% of our audience supported rolling back quarantine measures. In our latest survey, however, 92% of FreedomWorks activists say they want these measures to begin to be lifted within two weeks. 78% of respondents say they want these lifted immediately.
Not only do FreedomWorks activists want to end stay-at-home orders, but many are ready to begin participating in the economy. 69% of surveyed people say they would be willing to receive a haircut or other hygienic service immediately, if their stay-at-home orders were lifted today. 61% say they would be willing to patron a restaurant or bar immediately, as well.
FreedomWorks has been working diligently to promote the reintegration of Americans into the world to restore the United States economy and job market. While our surveys provide snapshots into the massive desolation weighing down our community, they also provide a glimpse into the faith our activists have in reopening America. FreedomWorks will continue to measure both the destruction of livelihoods and the hope of our audience.
Note: This survey was conducted with a random sample of the FreedomWorks general email list on May 1. These individuals are actively engaged in their communities, as well as in conservative political movements. This survey was done with 95% confidence with a margin of error of 2.7%. 1,306 individuals responded to the survey.