While US President Donald Trump recently signed four executive orders geared toward economic relief, new data published by Study Finds on Monday showed that many Americans may need more aggressive assistance than a payroll tax holiday to make ends meet.
The survey, commissioned by online energy marketplace EnergyBot, found that almost a quarter (24%) of Americans have missed at least one payment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 2,000 Americans respondents participated in the study.
Furthermore, 26% of those who missed bill payments admitted to not paying their cable TV or cellphone bills. A quarter of those belonging to the same group said they have skipped out on paying portions of their electricity or utility bills.
Researchers found that, on average, those who confessed to foregoing a bill payment missed around five such payments altogether.
Of the 2,000 respondents to the survey, 65% expressed that they “had to make some sacrifices lately to make ends meet,” according to Study Finds.
Those sacrifices include the cancellation of gym memberships, ending of subscription services and cutting back on takeout food.
“All in all, 52% say they only buy the ‘essentials’ these days. Another 43% are no longer buying premium quality goods (toilet paper, gas) in an effort to save some cash,” reported the research outlet. “Some are adopting new lifestyles: 41% say they’re following [a] ‘minimalistic’ approach to life.”
Results from this survey come just days after the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed approximately 1.8 million jobs were added to the American economy in July, which was a serious decline from the 4.8 million additional jobs recorded in June.
“We are seeing evidence that the economic recovery is losing steam. It's not reversing, but it looks like growth is flattening out,” Daniel Zhao, a Glassdoor senior economist, told NBC News.
“It seems like the recovery has slowed down and appears to be getting stuck in the doldrums.”
While Democrats and Republicans have yet to reach an agreement on direct relief to Americans, activist and writer Pete Dolack recently argued to Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear that a realistic approach from the federal government would involve a firm “rent moratorium.”
“What does a landlord do? A landlord puts his feet up on the desk and sits there and counts his money as it rolls in. The landlord doesn’t do anything, certainly doesn’t work or anything,” he said. “We’ve got to look at the underlying conditions of what [is] causing this and think much more structurally in how to handle this.”