About 73.5 million Americans plan to look for a job that is more pandemic-proof, according to research by officials at personal finance website WalletHub, which released a nationally representative Coronavirus and the Future of the Economy Survey.

The survey examined Americans’ thoughts on our economic situation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, including how comfortable people are with traveling and shopping in person, as well as how soon they think the U.S. will recover financially.

“Due to the incredibly high level of unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 73.5 million Americans plan on looking for a job that is more pandemic-proof,” said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst.

“As a result of Americans searching for more pandemic-proof jobs, we may see growth in professions that allow working from home, as well as those that are deemed ‘essential’ during times of crisis.”

The District was among the cities in the nation hit hardest by unemployment claims, with filings up more than 761 percent over 2019.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early March, unemployment claims in the District have increased by more than 2,185 percent, according to the WalletHub survey.

According to DC’s Department of Employment Services (DOES), roughly 40 percent of eligible claims are still being processed.

“Too many people were left without any support due to exclusions that predominately impacted workers who earn the least and have the fewest income protections available to them,” Katrinell M. Davis, a WalletHub expert, and associate professor of the Department of Sociology at Florida State University, said when asked about the $2.2 trillion emergency relief package passed by the Senate.

“So, in the end, plenty of hardworking Americans, quarantined to protect their health and safety, are facing serious setbacks that will not be resolved by political speak and wishful thinking,” Davis said.

“If the government really cared about working Americans, the targeted effort would have emerged to support those excluded from stimulus payments like the parents behind on child support, people without social security numbers, and other workers who pay state taxes but are excluded from state support when it really counts.”

The survey highlighted anticipated changes in several categories, including:
– Travel and dining will continue to take a hit until there’s a vaccine. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans won’t feel comfortable getting on an airplane until there is a vaccine (plus, 27 percent won’t feel comfortable staying in a hotel and 21 percent won’t feel comfortable dining out).
– Most Americans want a non-tax solution for recovery. About 28 percent of Americans think that tax rates should increase to fund coronavirus recovery efforts.
– People view a full recovery in employment as far off. Almost 80 percent of Americans don’t think the unemployment rate will drop to pre-COVID-19 levels until at least the end of 2021, if at all.
– Many people want to find more stable jobs. 73.5 million Americans plan on looking for a job that is more pandemic-proof.

“A significant chunk of the population will not be willing to travel until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, as nearly 40 percent of Americans say they are uncomfortable flying before a vaccine and 27 percent say they are uncomfortable staying at a hotel,” Gonzalez said.

“More than one in five people won’t even be comfortable dining out before we have a vaccine. It’s important to continue to focus on vaccine research because we won’t see normal levels of consumption until Americans can get vaccinated.”

Gonzalez added that most citizens believe unemployment will remain relatively high.

“Almost 80 percent of Americans think unemployment will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until at least the end of 2021, if ever,” she said. “People over age 59 are most likely to think the unemployment rate will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. Younger age groups are all more optimistic, and tend to think that unemployment will be back to normal by the end of 2021.”

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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