America This Week: That’s Not My Name, Let’s Get Snacking, Seeing Past The Gen Z Workplace Stereotype, and Summer Spending Heats Up

The latest trends in society and culture from The Harris Poll

The Federal Reserve sees no signs of a recession on the horizon, and so does the public. Our America This Week poll, fielded March 22nd to 24th among 2,043 Americans, finds worries over the economy and inflation, while still high at (83%), is down -4%-pts from Oct. 2022. And thoughts of a potential recession (74%, -6%-pts). Instead, immigration has replaced inflation as the number one concern in our Harvard-Harris Poll for the third consecutive month (see slide 12).

This week, we have four new stories: First, a new Harris Poll with Fast Company finds that name bias is another widely reported but under-addressed form of workplace discrimination. Next, our latest survey of global snackers finds that “chips as therapy” works for a stressed-out public. Then, we look past buzzy headlines and find hard-working Gen Z employees. And lastly, Americans are ready to max out their credit cards for their summer vacations.

Get My Name Right: Fast Company-Harris Poll

Sadly, mispronouncing a work colleague’s name is a regular occurrence, say professionals of color, according to our latest research in Fast Company:

  • People of color were more likely to say their names get mispronounced most or all the time (36%), twice as often as their white counterparts (18%).
  • Names can lead to workplace discrimination: (33%) of professionals of color report experiencing discrimination at work because of their name (v. white: 16%).
  • Over a third (35%) of Americans get anxious when they see a name they can’t pronounce; some have even avoided someone because they couldn’t say their name (23%).
  • Conforming rather than informing: A majority (56%) of people of color said they changed their name at work in some way (v. white: 34%), and (13%) have been told to change their name to make it easier to find a job.

Takeaway: “While some common names have come with more baggage recently (e.g., Karen, Chad, Becky), these names may still have a better chance of getting hired than more unique names,” said Latoya Welch, VP at Harris Poll, who led the research efforts. “And, as many companies continue to ‘quietly’ adjust DEI efforts in the workplace, it leaves the door wide-open for name bias in everything from hiring to advancement.”

The State of Snacking ‘24: Mondelēz-Harris Poll

Chips, cookies, and granola bars have played a surprisingly essential role in helping people cope with COVID-19, inflation, wars, and virtually every other daily life since 2020, according to our fifth annual State of Snacking report with Mondelēz in Newsweek.

  • Snacking that’s healthy and green: Nearly (80%) of citizens globally said they appreciate snacks more “when consumed mindfully,” and (67%) seek snacks that work to minimize their environmental impact.
  • Lifelong loyalty: (76%) have been loyal to specific snacks or brands for a long time, while (68%) often seek snacks that evoke memories of childhood or past experiences.
  • Viral snacking: (73%) of younger generations report using social media platforms for snacking intel.

Takeaway: “We have seen that snacking has helped consumers navigate the last five years,” said Martin Renaud, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at Mondelēz International. “Snacks [are] linked to powerful consumer moments. The products that your mother [gave] to you when you’re coming back from school, that is forever.

Gen Z Is Here To Work: DailyPay-Harris Poll

While Gen Z employees routinely make headlines for being “challenging” or “lazy,” our research with DailyPay finds younger hourly workers are highly engaged and optimistic about their future.

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Gen Z hourly workers say they like or love their current job.
  • Of course, the top motivator for going to work every day is getting paid (80%), but nearly half (47%) cite having a sense of accomplishment and working toward career goals. (44%) said having a sense of purpose and making the world better (24%).
  • They frequently agree they feel proud of a job well done (63%), bring the best versions of themselves to work every day (62%), and are motivated to succeed (55%).
  • Many hourly workers are even happier as they age: More Millennials and Gen X report that getting paid motivates them to work daily (85% and 87%, respectively).

Takeaway: “It’s encouraging to see so many of the youngest members of the workforce having a positive outlook on their current job,” said Stacy Greiner, Chief Operating Officer at DailyPay. This rosy outlook should be especially welcoming to the workforce with the expectation that Gen Z will overtake Baby Boomers in the full-time workforce this year.

Financial Worries Can’t Find You At 35,000 Feet: NerdWallet-Harris Poll.

According to our new research with NerdWallet, millions of Americans are getting out of town this summer. But for some, inflation is keeping them grounded.

  • Half (45%) of Americans planning a summer trip requiring airfare or a hotel stay will spend an average of $3,594 on these expenses. In the summer of 2024, over 118 million Americans will spend more than $424 billion on airfare and hotel stays.
  • However, some spend beyond their means on their trips: One in five summer travelers (20%) say they’ll use a credit card to pay for their travel expenses but won’t pay off the balance within the first billing statement.
  • For those staying home this summer, more than a fifth (22%) say it’s because travel has become too expensive, and they can’t afford to take a summer vacation because inflation has increased their other expenses (19%).
  • Forget inflation; safety concerns may keep them grounded: According to a poll with Fast Company, (43%) of Americans said recent air travel incidents have made them more wary to fly.

Takeaway: “To pay off debt faster and minimize interest charges, make a plan you can reasonably stick to,” says NerdWallet travel expert and spokesperson Sally French. “If possible, bump up your monthly payments. Even a small increase, like rounding your payment up to the nearest hundred dollars or applying money received as gifts or from side hustles to debt, can help.”

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from March 22nd to 24th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,043 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 March 22nd to 24th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,043 U.S. adults.


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