The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has hit working-class Americans much harder than their wealthier peers, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.
Twenty percent of Americans who were employed two months ago now say they have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus — a number that has doubled over the past two weeks. But those earning less than $50,000 a year were three times more likely to be out of work than those making six-figure salaries. Thirty-seven percent of the under-$50,000 group say their wages have been cut, compared with 24 percent of those earning more than $100,000. And members of the less affluent group were twice as likely to say they might lose their jobs in the next month.
These income disparities also affect where people are working — and by extension, their risk of contracting the coronavirus while on the job. The survey found that 66 percent of Americans earning more than $100,000 are now working from home, compared with just 18 percent of those with incomes under $50,000. Of those working on-site, a full 58 percent say they are either “very” or “somewhat” worried about getting infected. Only 43 percent of employed workers — and 31 percent of those earning less than $50,000 — say they have paid sick leave.