By: Ray Day
We wanted to share our latest consumer and business insights, based on research from Stagwell. Among the highlights of our weekly consumer sentiment tracking (fielded Mar. 17-19):
WORRIES ABOUT ECONOMY STEADY
Today, 85% of Americans are concerned about the economy and inflation – steady with last week and up from 82% rate in December.
- 81% worry about U.S. crime rates (up 1 point)
- 79% about a potential U.S. recession (down 1 point)
- 72% about the War on Ukraine (up 3 points)
- 72% about political divisiveness (down 2 points)
- 70% about affording their living expenses (no change)
- 58% about a new COVID-19 variant (up 3 points)
- 53% about losing their jobs (up 7 points)
62% OF EMPLOYEES WANT FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS; 47% OF COMPANIES OFFER THEM
Flexibility remains king for non-traditional benefits workers feel companies should offer, yet less than half of businesses do so. This is according to our survey with Express Employment Professionals.
- From an employee perspective, it is important that a company offers flexible work hours (62%), flexible work locations (51%), paid leave (48%) and shortened work weeks (36%).
- Yet less than half of hiring decision-makers report their companies do so: 47% say they offer flexible work hours, 40% flexible work locations, 48% paid leave and 23% shortened work weeks.
- Regarding traditional benefits, 54% of U.S. hiring managers say offerings will remain the same as they were in 2022, and 37% expect traditional benefits will increase this year – a significant drop since the first half of 2022, when 50% were talking about traditional benefit increases.
WOMEN KEEP CANNABIS USE QUIET
Many American women are using cannabis but are keeping it quiet, according to our survey with MedMen.
- 37% of American women 21+ use cannabis regularly, with 28% using it at least once a month.
- Younger women are more than twice as likely to use cannabis (ages 21-44: 57%) than older women (ages 45+: 22%).
- Women say they primarily use cannabis for therapeutic reasons, such as relieving anxiety (60%), helping to sleep (58%) and relieving pain (53%).
- Nearly two thirds of women who use cannabis (65%) say there are people in their life who still do not know, including their parents (26%), children (22%) and coworkers (21%).
WOMEN ALSO DEMAND MORE RESPECT
Women believe society expects too much from them and does not respect them enough, according to further insights from our State of Women Report 2023 with theSkimm.
- Released during Women’s History Month, the report investigates and surfaces how women see the work they do, both in their careers and in the home, and how society perceives that work.
- 74% say that “society treats women like second-class citizens” and the “deck is stacked against women.”
- 79% say “I am concerned with the social expectations around unpaid labor/mental load that women are responsible for.”
- 65% say “new legislation and policies that are being passed do not advance women’s rights.”
- 89% are planning to redesign their lives the way they want to.
- 87% have or want to create more sources of financial stability, with 60% adding a side hustle, shifting to a higher-earning career or advocating for a promotion.
- 65% (74% among Black women) have become involved, or plan to, in national politics.
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