CivicScience | CivicScience Tariff Monitor: As Job Outlook Gets Grimmer, So Too Does Tariff Concern

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CivicScience Tariff Monitor: As Job Outlook Gets Grimmer, So Too Does Tariff Concern

Image Credit: Photo by Julius Silver from Pexels

As more Americans are losing their jobs, or are at least concerned about the state of jobs in the U.S., concern about tariffs impacting household spending continues to grow.

Showing an increase of two percentage points from the March reading, the uptick is small, but the concern over tariffs doesn’t appear to be backing down. Seventy-one percent of Americans indicated they are at least somewhat concerned about the impact of recent trade policies and tariffs on their household expenses in the month of April.

Those who have tariff woes are slightly more likely than those unconcerned to be out of work or seeing reduced pay due to the current crisis.


And, nearly all (95%) of those concerned about tariffs are concerned about the state of the economy and jobs. 

Income is clearly a factor, too. Those in the bottom two income brackets are the most likely to have concerns about how tariffs will impact what they need to buy.

Furthermore, those who are concerned about tariffs over-index in reporting they’ve cut way back on spending due to the coronavirus than those who aren’t phased.

Moreover, 57% of those concerned about tariffs have indicated that their concerns over the spread of coronavirus have influenced a purchase decision they made in the last week.

Speaking of spending, we’re observing a two percentage point increase in the number of people who indicated they are buying less due to increased prices. Perhaps more telling; the number of Americans who answered they ‘haven’t noticed a difference yet’ dropped by four percentage points since last month’s reading. It’s the lowest that number has ever been. 

No matter how you slice it, Americans are worried about their bottom line right now. Anything that could impact how much money consumers have on hand, like tariffs, regardless of whether tariffs have truly touched most consumers, is sure to ring an alarm.

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