Post-ABC Poll: 1-in-4 Women Worse Off Financially Since Start of Pandemic

Post-ABC Poll: 1-in-4 Women Worse Off Financially Since Start of Pandemic marietta diaz stands on balcony Marietta Diaz, 30, who works in medical device sales, stands on her balcony in Wellington, Florida, on March 23, 2020. She is in quarantine after testing positive for novel coronavirus. (Zak BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 27 April 2021 02:46 PM

About one-in-four American women say that their financial situation is worse now than it was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, slightly more than the number of men who say the same in the latest poll from ABC News and The Washington Post.

In a poll conducted last week, ABC and the Post found that about 20% of Americans said that their financial situation is worse now than in March 2020, with 25% of women and 18% of men. About 60% said that their financial situation is unchanged since the start of the pandemic.

"I had to quit my job to home-school my kids. During that time, my husband also lost his job. So I had to go back to work, but the job I ended up getting has lower pay," said Channa Allerheiligen, who works as a home health aide in Colorado and has two children and one stepchild.

"I have had a lot of nurses and health aides who have children and they’ve had to quit and resign. We’ve had some die," added Charmaine Thompson, who supervises home health aides and Baltimore school nurses. "Women on the front lines still have family. People who make $15 or $17 an hour can’t just call a nanny or put their kids in private schools."

The poll also found that about 52% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy as he approaches his 100th day in office, but more than half, 58%, said that the country’s economy is "not so good" or "poor," almost unchanged from a similar poll taken last September.

About 23% of Black adults and 30% of Hispanic adults said that their families’ financial situations are worse now than at the start of the pandemic.

"All the prices on everything just got really high. You can’t get stuff you need because everything is sky high, and when you’re on a fixed income, it’s very hard," Jernada Thomas, an African American mother who lives in Cleveland and relies on disability, told the Post.

One upside for some during the pandemic is a stronger relationship with their family or friends, with 20% of women and 13% of men saying that their relations with family and friends have gotten stronger since COVID-19 first appeared in the U.S.

"Because all of us were not physically going to a job or not working, that freed up a lot of time during the day where we could have an hour-long phone conversation or FaceTime," said Sally Kane of Santa Cruz. "I think technology really helped us maintain or even strengthen communication with people from distance."

ABC and the Post polled 1,007 adults from across the country by phone from April 18-21, 2021, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.