How COVID-19 has impacted Maricopa County residents’ finances
As Arizona residents enter the 27th day of a stay-at-home order to curtail the spread of COVID-19, fully half of Maricopa County residents surveyed report that their personal finances are being impacted by the current situation, with 29 percent stating their personal finances are being highly impacted.
These and other data were revealed in online and telephone surveys with 1,091 Arizona adults conducted during the past two weeks by Phoenix-based WestGroup Research. Each survey has a statistical margin of error of approximately 4 percent.
• While 58% of Maricopa County residents surveyed predict their spending will eventually return to normal, 52% agree they will remain cautious in their spending even after everything is operating normally again.
• More than half (55%) indicate they are not spending as much as they usually would due to closures and restrictions caused by COVID-19, and the same proportion (54%) report limiting spending to bills and essential purchases.
• One-half (50%) agree they are trying to support small or local businesses by purchasing gift cards or getting take-out food.
• Notably, 15% report paying for services they are not receiving in order to support local businesses.
Regarding personal working situations within surveyed households:
• Nearly one in four (22%) are experiencing reduced hours or wages.
• Another 16% were furloughed or temporarily laid off without pay.
• Some 8% permanently lost their jobs.
• An additional 8% were notified of potential layoffs or reductions.
• Notably, one in ten (9%) report having to go to work despite being unwilling to go or being concerned about doing so.
• Conversely, 15% report they are working more hours or overtime due to COVID-19.
Regarding precautions Maricopa County residents are taking due to COVID-19:
• Nearly all Maricopa County residents surveyed (94%) report washing their hands more frequently, practicing social/physical distancing, and refraining from shaking hands or hugging.
• A three-quarters majority are also using sanitizing wipes or other disinfectants in their home and are using hand sanitizer.
• A slightly lower majority are not allowing anyone into their homes.
• Of interest, 1% say they have not taken any of these precautions.
Other noteworthy study findings include:
• Some 43% of Arizona adults feel that worry or stress related to the coronavirus is having a negative impact on their mental health.
• While 13% report it is having a “major negative impact,” another 30% say the mental health impact is “minor.”
• Of importance, residents who reported a household income loss were significantly more likely to feel their mental health is being negatively impacted (54% vs. 38% who did not report losing income).
• Nine in ten residents (90%) report checking at least one source for information about COVID-19 every day with one in four (25%) doing so hourly.
• In addition to getting information from friends and family, residents are most likely to turn to online news sources, network or cable news, social media or websites/apps for information about COVID-19.
Maricopa County residents report also noticing or experiencing positive events due to COVID-19, including more family time; people being kind, caring or helpful; spending more time outside; and better hygiene habits:
• More family time/kids are home (21%)
• People being kind and caring in general (19%)
• Neighbors being caring, kind and helpful (9%)
• Family members being caring, kind and helpful (9%)
• Spending more time outside (6%)
• Cleanliness / better hygiene (6%)
• Reduced traffic (5%)