WHAT THE DATA SAY: 1 in 4 Americans so stressed they cannot function most days

By: Ray Day


Ray Day 

We wanted to share our latest consumer and business insights, based on research from The Harris Poll, a Stagwell agency. 

Among the highlights of wave 139 (fielded Oct. 21-Oct. 23) in our weekly consumer sentiment tracking:


Today, 89% of Americans are concerned about the economy, inflation and jobs – the same high level as last week.

    • 85% worry about a potential U.S. recession (no change)
    • 82% about U.S. crime rates (down 1 point)
    • 75% about political divisiveness (up 1 point)
    • 74% about the War on Ukraine (no change)
    • 72% about affording their living expenses (down 1 point)
    • 61% about a new COVID-19 variant (up 1 point)
    • 47% about losing their jobs (no change)
    • 44% about the Monkeypox outbreak (down 4 points)

How stressed are Americans, and what’s causing it? The answers are clear in the 2022 Stress in America survey we conducted with the American Psychological Association.

    • 27% of Americans report being so stressed that they cannot function most days.
    • Inflation is the #1 stressor for 83% of adults. That is followed by violence and crime (75%), the current political climate (66%) and the racial climate (62%).
    • 76% say the future of the nation is a significant source of stress in their lives.
    • 68% say this is the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.
    • 57% who indicated money was a worry said that having enough money to pay for things like food or rent/mortgage is their main source of stress.
    • 43% reported feeling that saving enough money for things in the future is their main source of stress.
    • 56% agreed that they and/or their family have had to make different choices due to lack of money in the past month, with Latino/a (66%) and Black Americans (59%) reporting this at a higher level than White (52%) and Asian (45%) American adults.

As we continue tracking return-to-office requirements, a majority of employees still say they will jump jobs if forced back to the office full-time. Yet the numbers of workers resisting return-to-office are much lower than three months ago, based on our survey with USA Today.

    • 57% of employed Americans say companies will lose employees if they require workers to be in-person (down 9 points from June).
    • 73% of remote and hybrid workers say they would find another remote or hybrid job if their company forced them to work from the office full-time (down 5 points from June).
    • In an earlier study with Bloomberg, 57% of workers said they believe that employers now have more power in the job market (a 5-point increase in favor of employers from January).

Nearly half of U.S. consumers consider input from influencers when purchasing a product or service – especially younger people, according to our survey with AdAge.

    • 80% of Gen Z consult user reviews before purchasing, and 75% say that recommendations from influencers affect their decision – nearly double the general population at 43%.
    • 40% of Gen Z members have made purchases directly through an influencer’s storefront on sites like Amazon and LTK.
    • 73% also report looking to TikTok creators for product input, with Instagram and YouTube influences being similarly popular choices.

Beats by Dre, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Planned Parenthood, Lenovo and New Balance are doing the right things to capture the attention of Gen Z, according to the latest Ad Age-Harris Poll Gen Z brand tracker, a ranking of brands gaining the most attention from Gen Z members ages 18-24 in the third quarter.

    • Also doing better with Gen Z are Kickstarter, Impossible Foods, Coach, Flex Seal, Foot Locker, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, Bose, Nature Valley, North Face, Crocs, NHL, Paramount, Fiji and State Farm.
    • See full details here.

In case you missed it, check out some of the thought-leadership and happenings around Stagwell making news:

As always, if helpful, we would be happy to provide more info on any of these data or insights. Please do not hesitate to reach out.


Thank you.




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