New Poll From Marketplace® and Edison Research Finds Largest Year-Over-Year Increase in Economic Anxiety Since 2015

One-third of American households lost income since the pandemic began and even more say they could not handle an unexpected expense of $250

LOS ANGELES--()--New polling data released today from Marketplace® and Edison Research finds Americans’ economic anxiety has increased across nearly all demographic groups and income categories.

The poll, which explored Americans’ current outlooks on employment, found 69% of America’s workforce is either unemployed or in fear losing their job in the next 12 months. And, for those still working, confidence in finding a new job if they were to be laid off has completely collapsed.

In addition, for the first time, we asked respondents about access to food. The poll found 44% of Americans age 18 and over are afraid they will not be able to afford groceries, and more than half of Americans are afraid of a break in the food supply chain.

Marketplace and Edison Research have used poll responses to develop the Economic Anxiety Index®, a unique measure of the American economy. The number, on a scale from 0-100, is calculated from answers to a battery of questions. The Economic Anxiety Index® describes just how stressed out people feel about their personal financial situations. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling.

The Economic Anxiety Index® score for the latest poll is 35, up seven points from 28 in May 2019. This represents its highest year-over-year increase since the Index was first released in 2015.

Additional key findings include:

Unemployment and paying the bills

  • More than one-third of those who have applied for unemployment say they have been unsuccessful so far
  • More than half of homeowners with a mortgage are afraid they will be unable to make a payment
  • 63% of those who filed or tried to file for unemployment said it was very or somewhat difficult
  • One-quarter of Americans who are currently working have experienced a pay cut

Government response

  • Most of those who are eligible are satisfied with the amount of money they will receive from government stimulus payments, with 81% saying they are either very or somewhat satisfied
  • Of those who say they are eligible, 62% have gotten their payment
  • Most recipients will be putting the money to day-to-day needs such as bills or groceries

Stay-at-home orders

  • Two-thirds of Americans think that continuing stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of COVID-19 is more important than relaxing stay at home orders to reopen the economy
    • 81% of Democrats
    • 47% of Republicans
    • 65% of Independents
  • Nearly one in five Americans have not left their home at all in the last week

Read more about the findings from latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll and the Economic Anxiety Index® at

Marketplace-Edison Research Poll methodology:

The Marketplace Edison Research Poll is a national survey of Americans ages 18 years and older. A total of 1,018 respondents were interviewed with 500 interviews conducted by telephone and 518 interviews conducted online. The interviews were conducted from April 23 – 28, 2020.

The data was weighted to match the most recent United States population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for age, gender, race, income and region of the country.

About Marketplace

Marketplace® is on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country. Its core programs – Marketplace®, Marketplace Morning Report® and Marketplace Tech® – are currently broadcast on more than 800 public radio stations nationwide and heard by more than 16 million weekly listeners. Marketplace podcasts including Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly™, The Uncertain Hour® and This is Uncomfortable can be found at or on your favorite podcast app. The Marketplace portfolio of programs are produced and distributed by American Public Media®, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. For more information on Marketplace, visit, follow us on Twitter @marketplace or like us on Facebook. For more information on American Public Media, visit

About American Public Media

American Public Media® (APM) is the national programming and distribution division of American Public Media Group and reaches 19 million listeners via approximately 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programs in the nation. APM offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on APM, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio, Nationwide DMA data, Persons 12+, Fall ‘19.

About Edison Research

Since its founding in 1994, Edison Research has conducted over 13,000 research assignments in 50 countries. Edison works with a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institution, Disney, the Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, the Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio and Univision Communications.

Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison conducts more than 100,000 interviews in a single day for this project. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.


Mark Larson
FleishmanHillard on behalf of Marketplace


Mark Larson
FleishmanHillard on behalf of Marketplace