In The Harris Poll Tracker (Week 126) fielded July 22nd to 24th, 2022 among 1,986 U.S. adults, we find American stress continues to pile on, with (89%) worried about the economy, inflation, and jobs (+4%-pts from mid-June). In particular, inflation has become ‘micro’: Americans concerned about affording their living expenses is now at (78%), +11%-pts from mid-June. Lastly, nearly two-thirds (64%) are concerned over the latest COVID BA.5 variant, but that number remains unchanged over two weeks of widening news coverage. 

In our first story with The Hill, we delve deeper into these economic numbers by learning how American workers are fighting back against high inflation. 

And with lawmakers racing to pass tech anti-trust reforms, we examine the growing clamor for data privacy and its direct impact on corporate reputation. 

Also, Forbes covers our new investigation into how Black and Hispanic Americans’ mental health suffered disproportionately during COVID in our new CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Project. 

Next, USICA, The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act cleared a significant hurdle in the Senate this week and is poised to bolster American technology, namely CHIP production here back home. If passed, will the President move fast enough to relieve the CHIP shortage in American supply chains and protect from security issues abroad? (Tawain, under the increasing watch of China, is accountable for 66% of all global CHIP production). 

And lastly, work travel has changed post-COVID along with work in general, according to a new analysis in our Harris Poll Brand Platform. 

Check out our America This Week: From The Harris Poll podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts with me, John, and our CSO Libby Rodney on this week’s data and more.

Workers: Our Wages Aren’t Keeping Up: ASA-Harris Poll

With wages not keeping up with inflation, a majority of U.S. workers are concerned that their paycheck isn’t enough for themselves and their families, according to our latest survey with the American Staffing Association (ASA), as covered by The Hill and Bloomberg.

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) employed Americans are concerned their paycheck won’t cover their needs now. 
  • And because of that, one job might not be enough anymore: Nearly three in ten said they plan to seek a job change in the next six months, while another (28%) will look for a second job.
  • Gen Z and Millennial workers were most likely to say they will search for a new, higher-wage job in the next six months.
  • At the same time, however, job switching is suddenly becoming more precarious: (52%) of Americans are now concerned about losing their jobs

Takeaway: Employers are balancing a delicate act of passing along higher costs to consumers and keeping their labor force happy. Beyond compensation, they should consider other factors like work flexibility and investment in employees’ professional development as ways to keep and recruit talent. But any relief, however creative, is imperative:  KPMG found that some companies are reducing employee healthcare premiums by (10%) in 2022, with no change in benefit levels.

The Mental Health Crisis Among Black and Hispanic Americans: The CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Project

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and our latest data from the CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Poll, covered exclusively by Forbes, found that minorities bear the brunt of the mental health crises driven by the pandemic.

  • Four in ten (40%) Hispanic Americans (+10%-pts pre-pandemic) and (29%) of Black Americans (+12%-pts) rated their mental health as poor (v. white: 22%).
  • And their workplaces aren’t helping: (62%) of Black and (54%) of Hispanic Americans report their job as negatively impacting their mental health (v. white: 38%).
  • But for those employed, small percentages of Black and Hispanic employees say their employer openly talks about mental health (35%, 34%, respectively).
  • And back in February in partnership with Fortune, we found similar numbers even reported a complete lack of mental health services in their workplaces (Black: 31%, Hispanic: 42%). 

Takeaway: The conversation around mental health for communities of color extends beyond the corporate environment, too, as half of the Black respondents and (41%) of Hispanic respondents said that while they’d like to go to therapy, they can’t afford it.

Consumers’ Concern Rises on Brands Tracking Their Online Behavior: Permutive-Harris Poll

According to our survey in partnership with Permutive, U.S. and UK consumers are concerned about their data privacy, tracking, and sharing, underscoring a trend of decreasing consumer trust with targeted advertising. 

  • Only (27%) say they completely understand how their personal data is used by brands and companies to target them with advertising online.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of consumers are not comfortable making a purchase from a brand that has poor personal data ethics.
  • Nine in ten (89%) say they would be more likely to spend money with a brand that makes a commitment to protecting their personal data online over one that doesn’t. 

Takeaway: Suddenly, Americans look a lot like Europeans when it comes to data privacy concerns. The U.S. advertising industry can no longer play the role of “innocent bystander” in data privacy and must move towards responsible and transparent collection, management, and usage of consumer data – if they want to avoid the privacy downfalls of potential lost sales and their impact on corporate reputation.

Will USICA Get Tough on China?

According to a recent Forbes op-ed featuring The Harvard/CAPS-Harris Poll data overseen by Stagwell Chairman/CEO (And Harris Chairman) Mark Penn (and written by his founding partner of Penn-Schoen Berland, Doug Schoen), the focus is on the USICA bill and its potential impact on inflation and stalling supply chain issues. 

  • USICA, The United States Innovation and Competition Act, would authorize spending of $100 billion over 5 years on a new technology directorate, including tech research but especially incentives to bring CHIP production back onshore by creating capital investment incentives for companies like Intel and Nvidia. 
  • The bill also has the potential to impact leading American concerns around inflation (89%) and supply chain issues and potentially reverse some pessimism, as back in mid-June, we found that three-quarters (76%) believe that the worst is still ahead of us regarding inflation.
  • Regarding supply chain disruptions, in mid-May, (63%) of Americans agreed they are understandable given global circumstances (e.g., the pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, etc.) – however, Millennials and those with HHI under $50K are the least forgiving, as (40%) and (44%) expect companies to honor their service commitments and disruptions are unacceptable. 
  • Yet, (56%) would be willing to pay higher prices for service guarantees – a (15%-pt) increase from mid-January 2022, when only (41%) of Americans said so.
  • Schoen says, “The president has struggled to project strength and steadiness as Commander in Chief, and as a result, his approval rating on foreign affairs is just (40%), according to a recent Harvard-Harris poll. “Handing over American technology and products will only worsen voters’ perceptions of his ability to lead on the world stage and will give his political opponents fresh ammo in the midterms.”

Takeaway: Even if passed, USICA is not a quick fix to economic turbulence, as 7 in 10 Americans believe that we are already experiencing a global recession and a similar number of registered voters believe the U.S. economy is weak.

Work Travel Changed Post COVID Too: Harris Brand Platform

The COVID-19 pandemic shut many doors yet opened some new opportunities as thousands of office workers were told to clock in remotely. With wi-fi a nearly ubiquitous fixture across

the country, many people are hoping remote work is a free ticket to work their 9-to-5 from exotic new locations, according to our latest snapshot utilizing Harris Brand platform data.

  • More than a fifth (22%) of those wanting to work remote, partially or permanently, desire the ability to travel while working remotely.  
  • More than half of employees who desire the freedom of remote work in order to travel consider requiring employees to work onsite an outdated practice (67%) and a sign that an employer doesn’t trust its employees (52%).
  • Yet, there may be trouble in paradise: There is some fear among employees who want to work remotely that working offsite could make them look lazy (34%) or feel more pressure to be accessible (58%).
  • Whether to escape their home office or a family vacation, travel demand is growing as our Harris Brand Platform found increased use of, seen by their significant lift in both the Trial (+5.6) and Usage (+6.8) stages between May to June. 

Takeaway: While COVID-19 squashed traditional work travel, a new type of traveling employee was born as destination work took off. As companies establish their new in-office/remote work policies, it is still to be seen whether workcation packages become a more common offering across large hotel chains or slowly fade away as a pandemic memory.

As a public service, our team has curated key insights to help leaders navigate COVID-19. Full survey results, tables, and weekly summaries can be accessed for free at The Harris Poll COVID-19 Portal. We will continue to actively field on a regular cadence to track the shifts in sentiment and behaviors as the news and guidelines evolve.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from July 22nd to 24th, among a nationally representative sample of 1,986 U.S. adults.

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John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from July 22nd to 24th, among a nationally representative sample of 1,986 U.S. adults.


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