Nearly 50% of people are not able to handle an unexpected expense of $100 or more, according to the results of a poll conducted by Bloomberg and New America, a think tank.
Only 20% of people are capable of handling an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more, according to the survey, which polled 1,000 Americans of different social, economic, and demographic backgrounds.
The survey was part of a broader look at the future of work, especially as concerns about automation grow and more people shy away from stable jobs in favor of “gigs,” or short-term labor to provide maximum flexibility.
For example, less than half of the survey’s respondents — 46% — say they get paid the same amount every month. Just as many people said it depended on the month or the week how much money they earned.
Among the conclusions reached by those conducting the survey:
We know that massive change is coming. The early signs are already here: jobs at every level and of every kind beginning to give way to machines that can learn the way the human brain does. Now is the time to discuss these issues, while we still have the chance to shape our responses to a future we can imagine, even if we cannot precisely predict its scale and scope. Unemployment, underemployment, and even serial uncertain employment create deep stress, which, in turn, spawns rage and resentment. That is not a society that we want to live in. It is also the antithesis of the American dream, the promise of opportunity and possibility for anyone willing to work hard enough to seize it. If you cannot find work no matter how hard you try, or you work three jobs but cannot get ahead, hope will turn to hate; the drive to create will turn into the drive to destroy.
We have choices, as employers, employees, and citizens. We can decide what kinds of businesses we want to run, the education we want to get, and the policies we want to vote for and enact. We must come together and face the questions posed by the future of work as a nation and nd answers together. This report pushes beyond the seemingly endless debate between techno-utopians and doomsayers by combining data, diversity, and imagination. It is only the beginning, but we hope it will provide the framework for a realistic and productive national conversation. Now is the time to have it.