More than half of Americans – 52% – have been hit hard in one way or another by the recession. Throughout this report this group will be called the “hard hit.” Those who have suffered major blows include:
- 35% of Americans who say they have seen their investments lose more than half their value.
- 27% of those who are employed full time or part time have had their pay cut, their hours reduced or lost benefits. In this sample, 46% of adults have full-time jobs, 13% have part-time jobs, 19% are retired, and 17% are not employed for pay.
- 27% of homeowners who have seen the value of their home reduced by at least half. In this sample, 63% of adults are homeowners and 28% rent their housing, while 8% have other living arrangements.
- 14% of Americans who have been laid off or lost their jobs in the recession.
A comparison of the impact of the recession on internet users and non-users shows the following: They were equally likely to report being laid off or losing a job; internet users were more likely to report investment losses and a major drop in the value of their homes; and non-internet users were more likely to report cuts in hours and benefits. Overall, 55% of internet users have been hard hit by the recession because at least one of these four major blows had befallen them and 41% of non-users had suffered such a blow. This is mostly a reflection of the fact that internet users are more likely than non-users to be home-owners and investors and to have been hit by major financial losses in those realms.