Americans fear recession, but most believe their jobs are safe: Survey

Americans said they believe the economy is headed for a downturn, but most believe their jobs will survive, according to a recent survey by fintech company Achieve.

Many Americans fear a recession is in store for 2023, but most are optimistic that the economic slowdown won't result in layoffs, a new survey said.

Many Americans (73%) said they had a negative outlook on the economy, according to a recent survey by fintech company Achieve. However, 74% said they didn't believe a downturn would impact their jobs.

Additionally, 73% of respondents said they had no plans to leave their current employment, signaling that the Great Resignation trend, which saw droves of workers quit their jobs in the last two years, may be coming to an end, the survey said.

"Workers who are anxious about the economy feel that it's safer to stay in their current jobs," Achieve Cofounder and Co-CEO Andrew Housser said. "This is especially true among workers in the Baby Boomer generation who are increasingly nearing retirement age and prefer the stability of their existing jobs."

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Less than half of the respondents said they were financially prepared to handle a loss of income and 43% said they either didn't know or didn't expect to receive severance pay if they were to lose their jobs.

Moreover, 66% of respondents said they live paycheck to paycheck and 51% said they had less than $1,000 in an emergency savings fund, including 28% who said they had no emergency funds.

"Many Americans feel the economy is in bad shape, yet turn a blind eye toward the potential impacts," Housser said. "This may be preventing consumers from taking the steps necessary to prepare their finances in the event that they do experience a loss or reduction in employment or income."

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Americans plan to cut expenses to 'get by'

Since most consumers said they had little to no savings, respondents said they would cut back on expenses to cover the impact of a job loss. 

Here are the top five areas of spending consumers said they would cut back on to "get by":

  • 61% would cut back on dining out
  • 49% would cut back on entertainment
  • 42% would cut back on vacations
  • 38% would cut back on retail expenses
  • 31% would cut back on groceries

"Many consumers also said they'd have to let other bills go unpaid or take on debt in order to make ends meet," the survey said. "These riskier methods have the potential to exacerbate financial distress and delay consumers' ability to sustainably recover from a setback."

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