• 38% said they don't expect to be laid off and 37% more say it's unlikely
  • 13% said they'd need a job within a week while 12% said they could last a year
  • The restaurant industry has lost three-quarters of its employees and owners say they can't keep employees on the payroll through the downturn

A Gallup poll indicated Wednesday 25% of U.S. adults fear they will be laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, up from 8% one year ago. Both numbers were records.

Three quarters of those polled, however, said a layoff was “not too likely” (37%) or “not at all likely” (38%), Gallup noted.

The poll comes just one day ahead of this week’s initial unemployment claims report. In the past four weeks, 22 million Americans have been laid off as nonessential businesses closed their doors to help stem the spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least 826,184 Americans and killed more than 45,150.

The poll of 540 individuals at least 18 years of age was conducted April 1-14 and included people who had been furloughed but not laid off.

Most of those queried said they would need a job within weeks to survive with only 12% saying they could endure a year of unemployment and only 34% saying they could last four months. Thirteen percent said they’d need a job within a week.

Experts have said the government actions taken to mitigate the pandemic has triggered a recession, and it was unclear how deep or how long the downturn would be, President Trump’s prediction of a rapid rebound notwithstanding.

The oil and gas services industries have taken the hardest hit as demand has plummeted. Futures moved into negative territory earlier this week and were trading at less than $15 Wednesday as producers were rapidly running out of storage space.

Restaurants and bars also are particularly hard hit. The National Restaurant Association said 8 million employees already have been laid off or furloughed, amounting to two-thirds of the workforce, amid March losses of $30 billion and projected April losses of $50 billion. Losses could range as high as $240 billion before the economy begins to recover, the association wrote in a letter to congressional leaders, and eatery owners indicate there’s no way they can keep employees on the payroll.