Are Striking Workers Good for Consumers? There’s No Job Love, Climate Hits Homeowners, and Your Venmo Could Cost You.

The latest trends in society and culture from The Harris Poll

While the world’s attention is focused on the tragedy in Israel, the looming threat of a U.S. recession is the prime domestic concern among (82%) of the country (+3%-pts from last week). Our America This Week survey fielded October 8th to 10th among 2,061 Americans continues to show this stubborn divergence between good economic reports and public opinion. One proof point: 336,000 jobs were added in September, yet more than half of employed Americans (53%, +7%-pts from mid-September) are concerned about losing their jobs. 

This week, four new Harris Polls of note: First, in a new survey with Axios, America sides with the striking UAW but worries about higher car prices. Then we find that most employees do not love their jobs (which should worry employers). Next, most homeowners struggle to make their homes climate-resilient in a survey with The American Property Casualty Insurance Association. To end, for those of you with a Venmo balance, our research with NerdWallet recommends that you transfer it ASAP.

Americans Side With Striking Workers (With Some Reservations): Axios-Harris Poll

From actors to autoworkers, more than 450,000 workers have participated in 312 strikes in the United States this year, according to Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker. In a new Harris Poll survey featured in Axios, the American public is a strong union supporter and especially sympathetic to striking auto workers.

  • Background: The UAW is on strike against two Ford plants, two GM factories, one Stellantis plant, and all 38 parts distribution facilities at GM and Stellantis. 
  • Three-quarters (76%) of Americans generally support unions, especially in the auto sector.
  • Among those familiar with the strike, (83%) of Americans believe automakers need to be more generous and share more of their profits with their workers.
  • But unsustainable for whom? (76%) of Americans agree that the gap between auto company executives’ compensation and auto worker labor rates is unsustainable. Yet over half (56%) also say that what the UAW demands is unsustainable for the automakers. (This suggests Americans want a fair resolution without higher car prices passed onto them).

Takeaway: “The United Auto Workers’ president on Friday reported “significant progress” in contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers and said the union would hold off on expanding its strike for now. The decision signals that the union and the automakers are moving closer to deals ending a historic, weeks-long strike involving about 25,000 workers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis” (Axios). 

The Workplace’s Happiness Crisis: Yoh-Harris Poll

Is a job just a job? In a new Harris Poll study with Yoh, only a quarter (28%) of employed Americans say they love their job and would not leave their company for any reason. As for the other two-thirds, many have compelling reasons to pack up and move on. 

  • Show me the money:  (26%) of employees would leave their current job in the next twelve months if they received a higher salary and better benefits.
  • Need for upskilling: (14%) believe it would benefit their career long-term to leave their current job for a new one.
  • Burned out: In a recent Harris Poll with the American Heart Association, (82%) of employees say they at least sometimes feel burned out in their professional role, with a quarter (25%) saying they think this way often or always.
  • Actively looking: (14%) say they would like to leave their current job for a new one in the next 12 months.

Takeaway: “The findings from our latest survey serve as a valuable reminder that just because the economy may be trending upward, employee sentiment may not follow suit,” said Emmett McGrath, President of Yoh. “Companies should have a finger on the pulse of their workforce and avoid assuming the best when it comes to their feelings, perceptions, and attitudes.”

Home Resiliency Barriers Rise As Climate-Driven Events Loom: APCIA-Harris Poll

Recent natural catastrophes underscore the importance of mitigation and resiliency for homeowners. Yet, a recent Harris survey with The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) in Insurance Business Magazine finds that many homeowners help ensure their home’s resiliency. 

  • Most homeowners (75%) will upgrade certain home materials to meet building code standards, enhancing their properties’ resilience.
  • Yet, three-quarters (74%) of these owners report encountering obstacles when trying to bolster their homes’ resilience against natural disasters. 
  • The primary hurdle is financial, with nearly half (46%) citing cost as a significant barrier, while a fifth (20%) either need to know where to commence or what steps to take.
  • Looking beyond their front yard: (80%) of homeowners support efforts to restrict development in storm/wildfire-prone areas to curb rebuilding and repair costs.

Takeaway: “Millions of people are increasingly at risk for natural disasters as more communities are built in hazard-prone regions, and communities face the intensifying impacts of climate change,” says Karen Collins, APCIA property and environment vice president. “So it is essential for homeowners, communities, and policymakers to prioritize resiliency and mitigation.”

The Hidden Risks in Venmo: NerdWallet-Harris Poll

Mobile payment apps are so commonplace that “Venmo” has become a verb as most Americans use mobile payment apps, and plenty are keeping cash in these apps despite the balances not having FDIC insurance, according to our latest research with NerdWallet.

  • Most mobile payment app users leave money sitting in their apps: More than two-thirds of mobile payment app users (68%) maintain a balance in their apps, keeping up to $316, on average, with nearly a fifth (18%) of users saying they’ve kept $500 or more in their app before transferring.
  • Nearly half of those who don’t use mobile payment apps (46%) say they don’t use them because they don’t trust the security of those apps, while (14%) say it’s because the funds in the apps aren’t federally insured through the FDIC
  • Double-check who you’re sending money to: Nearly one in ten (8%) mobile payment app users say they accidentally sent money to someone they don’t know

Takeaway: “Mobile payment apps can be a convenient, fast, and easy way of sending money and paying for items,” says Elizabeth Ayoola, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “It’s essential that users of those apps understand the potential downsides of using them, such as transaction fees and the risk of losing money if the mobile app isn’t federally insured.”

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from October 6th to 8th among a nationally representative sample of 2,061 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from October 6th to 8th among a nationally representative sample of 2,061 U.S. adults.


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