As Omicron cases climb, so too do closures, cancellations, and disruptions to American life. CivicScience data show that, not only have consumer comfort levels tanked, but more than 40% of American adults have experienced some sort of closure or disruption as a result of the large swath of the population testing positive in recent weeks.
Where have survey respondents experienced these disruptions? Of the disruptions studied, the most common instance the Gen Pop has faced has been in the bar and restaurant industry as a consumer. Second to that is disruptions in the workplace: nearly a-quarter of those polled report having personally experienced this.
Not Back to School
Closures of school districts are widespread across the country right now due to staff shortages. While just 15% of the broader Gen Pop say they have personally experienced a disruption to a K-12 school, among just parents in the CivicScience database, that figure jumps to 21%.
Impact on Restaurant Industry
While service disruptions in the food and beverage industry are most common to those living in the city, the difference between city and non-city experience is there but not as wide as you may imagine. These disruptions are even impacting 34% of rural residents in the dataset.
These sorts of disruptions are creating a ripple effect, as closures of services impact not only consumers but the service workers themselves.
While those who report being better off financially than they were pre-pandemic are more likely to say their workplace has been disrupted due to Omicron, the percentage of those who are worse off financially and experienced this is still over 20%. The data suggests that the impact of these workplace disruptions will range far and wide depending on personal financial situation.
And this is further highlighted when cutting the data by current occupation. Among employed people only, those in the service profession are just as likely to have experienced a recent disruption to their day job as those in operations or managerial roles.
When cross tabulating this survey data by those working in the healthcare sector, these disruptions spike, especially among those in caregiver-type roles and administrative positions.
While many experts anticipate that Omicron will peak by the end of January, the effects on everyday life –and how that looks for the economy– could have a lasting impact well beyond this timeline.