A recent survey of U.S. citizens conducted by Kekst CNC, a leading global strategic communications firm, assessed Americans’ thoughts on reopening the economy, the strength of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, confidence in government institutions, and how businesses are responding to the pandemic.
- Despite increasing concern for the economy, Americans are still wary about re-opening too soon;
- More Americans than not think the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is being handled poorly, despite their increased willingness to take the vaccine;
- Following the inauguration of Joe Biden, confidence has grown in the President’s handling of the pandemic;
- Americans’ preference for Working From Home continues to drive greater job satisfaction and productivity;
- Approval of businesses’ response to the pandemic decreased since December, across all industries.
According to James Johnson, Senior Advisor for Research at Kekst CNC, “As the United States continues down the path toward full reopening, Americans are watching the vaccine rollout closely to determine when restrictions may be lifted. Our study indicated that 36% of respondents feel the rollout is going poorly, and 41% feel it is happening too slowly.”
Despite 34% of respondents highlighting a need to prioritize the economy over slowing the spread of COVID-19, 48% of Americans indicated they would only feel comfortable fully lifting restrictions when most adults in the world had received the vaccine. Generally, Americans indicated an interest in loosening many restrictions, but keeping some in place.
Johnson noted, “In addition to highlighting the widespread need for vaccinations to remove COVID-19 restrictions, 64% of respondents showed an increased willingness to take the vaccine, up from 58% in December. While confidence in the vaccine has grown, only 36% of respondents indicated that they are comfortable removing restrictions for people who have received the vaccine more quickly than those who have not.”
“While the past year has been challenging in many ways, Americans continue to show a preference towards Working From Home. American respondents indicated a 24% net increase in job performance, a 19% net increase in concentration while working, and an 8% net increase in happiness at work. These numbers were by far the highest of any market surveyed, with every other market besides Sweden reporting net decreases in these indicators,” concluded Johnson.
The survey found that public opinion of American institutions, with the exception of the President, has generally decreased since December. President Biden had a net approval rating of +15%, compared to his predecessor’s final net approval rating of -15%. Approval of the Federal government remained static at -6% net approval, while approval of the CDC, State, and Local governments continued to fall.
In assessing the positive and negative impacts of certain industries during the pandemic, all sectors saw a decline in approval from December of 2020. Despite this, online and food/essential retailers continued to receive relatively high net approval ratings of +51% and +42%, respectively. Of all industries included, only the social media sector held a negative approval rating, which it has done since the survey began.
Comparing the U.S. to the other countries surveyed:
- Over half of Americans (50%) were worried about local businesses in their area, a close third behind Germany’s 51% and the U.K.’s 57%, but far from Sweden and Japan’s 32% and 29% respectively.
- American respondents were the second-most concerned about the health of people in the country as a whole (55%), the highest it had been since July (57%). 58% of the respondents in the U.K. were also worried about the health of people in their country as a whole, the highest level recorded since April. Less than half of respondents in Germany (48%), France (46%), Sweden (39%), and Japan (35%) expressed a high level of concern for the health of people in their country as a whole.
- U.S. and French respondents were the most likely to say they feared for their own health (46%), followed by those in Germany (44%), the U.K. (41%), Japan (34%) and Sweden (31%).
Methodology and Full Results
- Nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults in The United States, 1,000 adults in Great Britain, 1,000 adults in France, 1,000 adults in Germany, 1,000 adults in Sweden, and 1,000 adults in Japan
- Fieldwork took place from February 11th – 21st, 2021
- Quotas and weights on gender, age, and region in each country
- Margins of error of +/- 3.3% for all markets
- Full results of the global survey available here.