Posts tagged with "The Harris Poll"

Average American child earns $30/week in allowance

October 7, 2019

Add another factor into the high cost of raising children in the United States—the formerly humble (and now very generous) allowance.

About 66% of parents give their offspring a weekly stipend, based on findings of a telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA).

And not only are the amounts high—at an average of $30 per week—but they are rising more quickly than the average U.S. salary.

Indeed, while most parents require their children “to earn their allowances” by doing chores around the house, the number of hours of “elbow grease” expected per week have not gone up significantly since 2016 (from 5.1 to 5.3 hours) , but the hourly pay rate has seen a dramatic 38% increase—rising from an average of $4.43 in 2016 to $6.11 in 2019

Across the same time span, the average hourly pay rate for all Americans increased by 10.5% ($25.43 in 2016 vs. $28.11 in 2019) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How are children using their weekly windfall? Three-quarters of Americans (75%) say the most important purpose of providing an allowance to children is to teach the child about the value of money and financial responsibility. However, the survey found, allowance money is rarely saved. Parents say most of their kids’ allowance is spent on outings with friends (45%), digital devices or downloads (37%), or toys (33%).

That’s a mistake, according to Gregory Anton, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, who says that “ “Simply handing money over to a child without guidance is a missed opportunity. By making an allowance a teachable moment, parents will help instill money management skills in their child at a young age that will help prepare them for the important financial decisions they’ll have to make when they’re older.”

The AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission recommends that parents who choose to provide an allowance use it to help their children understand the value of money. For parents looking to teach their children about financial responsibility using an allowance, here are some tips:

  1. Start early
    “Once your child expresses a want, discuss the foundations for budgeting—delayed gratification and saving for a goal. Give them small jobs to earn their own money to pay for toys or other wants and help them see their efforts grow with a chart on the fridge showing the progress they are making towards their goal.
  2. Set clear parameters
    “If you decide to provide an allowance, make sure your children understand why they are getting it, how they can earn it, and how they can lose it. Some may choose to base an allowance on the completion of chores and make deductions for any chores that aren’t finished. Others may set a base allowance and provide opportunities to earn additional pay for extra chores that are completed. Bottom line, earning money helps to teach children the value of money.
  3. Use an allowance to talk about budgeting
    “Rather than giving your child money to spend freely, consider an allocation process that rewards them for both short- and long-term thinking. Encourage them to set aside a percentage of the money they earn each week for certain spending categories-such as outings with friends, short-term savings; and long-term savings (e.g., a college fund). Encourage even more savings by offering to match their long-term savings stockpile dollar for dollar
  4. Discuss impact of impulse purchases on goals
    Let your child set his or her own goals and provide guidance to help reach them. Along the way, teach the principles of saving and budgeting. If a new game console is on their want list, show them how to calculate the amount that needs to be saved each week to reach that goal. For instance, if he or she receives $30 a week, but wants a $240 gaming system, help your child understand that reaching the goal requires eight weeks of allowance. Then, if there is temptation to splurge on a spontaneous item, like candy in the check-out aisle, ask whether it fits into their budget. This will help teach how skipping short-term wants can help them reach their long-term goals.

Research contact: @AICPA

Being there: Working parents scramble to attend children’s events

June 18, 2018

Have you missed your child’s on-stage appearance, classroom presentation, or soccer game? You are not alone. More than one-third (38%) of moms and dads missed a significant event in their child’s life due to work during the past year —and more than one in every five parents (21%) failed to show up at three or more events, based on findings of a survey of 1, 012 full-time workers nationwide sponsored by CareerBuilder and conducted by The Harris Poll.

There’s bad  news and good news: Managing your work and your children can be a struggle —and it’s especially hard during the summer—but according to the majority of workers with children at home (78%), it is possible to be successful, both in your career and as a parent.

“Work-life balance is certainly a struggle for all professionals, but we see workers moving past the idea that they have to give something up and that the sacrifice of either a career or parenting must be made,” said Jennifer Grasz, vice president of Corporate Communications for CareerBuilder. “Promoting a balance should be important to employers, too. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with coworkers, be more productive and are able to leave work issues at work and home issues at home.”

However, while more than half of workers with a child in the household (51%) say they feel equally successful in their role at work and as a parent, more than half of working dads (56%) feel this way, compared to only 47% of working moms. But counter-intuitively, while 33% of working moms say they feel more successful as a parent, only 22% of working dads could say the same.

When it comes to bringing home the bacon, both parents are responsible—fewer than one-third (32%) of working parents say they are the sole financial provider in their households. But when they were asked if they would leave their jobs if their spouse or significant other made enough money for their family to live on comfortably, only one-quarter (25%) said “yes.”

Similarly, 65% of employees with a child in the household said they would not be willing to take a decrease in pay to spend more time with their kids – a similar feeling in working dads (65%) and moms (66%).

Indeed, the researchers found, time at the office is taking a toll on some families. While the majority of working parents (66%) spend at least three hours a day with their kids, parents’ absence is noted by their kids. Nearly one-quarter of working parents (24%) say their children have asked them to work less, and a similar proportion (23%) say work is negatively impacting their relationship with their children.

Finally, having a child changes your family life, but how does it change your work life? Half of workers who are parents (46%) have not taken advantage of flexible work arrangements, but of those who have (54%), 37% say it has not affected their career progress.

Research Contact: ladan.hayes@careerbuilder.com

Hearing is believing with voice recognition

May 30, 2018

A solid majority (81%) of Americans believe there are benefits to using voice recognition for secure identification, based on a survey sponsored by Pindrop.

However, 94% of the 3,000 U.S. adults contacted online by The Harris Poll, which conducted the survey on behalf of Pindrop, believe there may be drawbacks.

Among the survey respondents, the following percentages mentioned that they were wary of specific flaws that could hamper such a system:

  • 61%: May not work well because of background noise (channel independence;
  • 60%: May not work accurately every time (low energy efficiency rating;
  • 48%: Voice can be cloned to defraud end users (voice spoofing);
  • 43%: System may have difficulty recognizing accents;
  • 39%: May not be secure;
  • 36%: Requires you to speak loudly and clearly (channel independence); and
  • 31%: Lack of information on how voice as personal verification works.

Still, consumers say they are dissatisfied with current security methods and a new platform, such as voice identification, may be needed.

More than one in four Americans who have accessed an account at either a healthcare company (28%) or a TV/telecom company (27%) by phone expressed frustration with their experience.

They cite burdensome requirements to answer numerous identity verification questions is the cause of this difficulty for over one-quarter of them (28%). In fact, nearly one in five (18%) said they have,a t times, forgotten the answers to their security questions and, therefore, have been locked out of their accounts.

We are ushering in a new era of passive voice authentication that will create opportunities for brands to interact with their customers,” said Scott Rose, SVP of Product, at Atlanta-based Pindrop, adding, “As consumers go beyond heir phones and increase interactions with voice activated devices, it is crucial not to confuse personalization with security and identification.”

The study also assessed consumer engagement with financial institutions, retailers, healthcare providers and other major omnichannel organizations. Findings indicate that roughly half of Americans contacted financial service companies (49%), healthcare companies (59%), insurance companies (54%), and telco companies (60%), via phone with a customer service inquiry in the last 12 months.

About one in ten Americans contacted healthcare companies (15%), insurance companies (9%) and financial service companies (11%) via phone more than five times per year.


According to Pindrop, in the emerging conversational economy, brands are reimagining voice activated consumer experiences. Enterprise level security and multi-factor authentication is the necessary next step for all industries creating new opportunities for frictionless customer experiences. As more channels become voice-activated, fraudsters will leverage emerging technologies such as voice synthesis to impersonate consumers. Today, the company says, voice fraud costs organizations in the U.S. $14 billion each year within call centers alone.

Research contact: pr@pindrop.com

As net neutrality expires, 92% of Americans worry about Web access

April 24, 2018

Net neutrality officially ended yesterday, April 23. Last December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Obama-era protections designed to ensure a “free and open” Internet for everyone.

At the end of December, The Harris Poll contacted 2,163 U.S. adults to ask how they felt about the agency’s decision to dismantle open Internet protections. The researchers found that—while over nine out of ten Americans (92%) believe that the Internet should be accessible to everyone—Americans are largely split on the basic principles of net neutrality. Just over half (55%) say big companies should be able to pay for their content to load faster for certain users

Efforts to abolish net neutrality were widely backed by the telecommunications industry, but criticized by both the tech industry and customer advocacy groups. In theory, neutrality was put in place to keep large internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon from arbitrarily slowing down user connections. One common concern is that ISPs might block or slow down users’ access to competing services, or offer preferential treatment to certain companies.

In reaction, nonprofits such as  NYC Mesh have begun installing antennas all over the Big Apple to offer New Yorkers a “community-owned” wireless network with unfettered access to the internet.

NYC Mesh comments, “Our network consists of Wi-Fi router ‘node,’ ‘supernodes,’ and fiber spread throughout the city. The network connects directly to the Internet backbone, so we do not rely on an ISP. All of our network nodes cooperate in the distribution of data, and the network can also function independently in case of emergencies or Internet shutdown.

The FCC’s decision has triggered legal challenges in several states and a coalition of 22 state attorneys general already have filed a lawsuit to reverse the FCC’s vote. Oregon and Washington State have enacted net neutrality laws and governors in four states—Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Vermont—have signed executive orders sustaining the principle.

Research contact: Hellonyc@harrisinsights.com

Keep Fido out of the front seat!

April 16, 2018

Volvo, which manufactures some of the safest cars in the world, is taking a look at how securely its non-human passengers are accommodated in its vehicles. The news is alarming—not because of the cars, themselves, but because of the people (and pet owners) who are at the wheel.

In a nationwide survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted on behalf of the Swedish automaker by The Harris Poll, found that, of the 97% of pet owners who drive with their dogs, many do not follow safety practices, including the following:

  • 48% do not own any safety driving gear for their dog(s);
  • 41% allow their dog(s) to ride in the front seat;
  • 23% buckle their dog(s) into to standard seat belts; and
  • Only 5% have a built-in pet safety system in their vehicle(s).

Why such casual disregard for safety when a majority of Americans (69%) see their pets as “family members”?

Many claim they don’t know any better—and of those who do, 24% say they leave their pets at home because they think having them in their cars equates to an accident waiting to happen.

What’s more, of those who drive without Fido, 46% put the blame for lack of harnesses and restraints on the automaker—saying that vehicle manufacturers do not have built-in dog safety features and do not care enough about pet safety.

Fully 71% of pet owners agree that vehicle manufacturers should proactively build more dog safety features into their vehicles

“Our survey showed that pet parents want to travel with their furry friends, but worry about safety,” said Product and Technology Communications Manager for Volvo Car USA Jim Nichols. “Volvo is the only manufacturer that has been developing protective steel grills and dog gates for over 20 years to keep pets in place in the event of an accident.”

The complete results of the survey are published in the report, Dogs, Cars and the People Who Love Them.

Research contact: jim.nichols@volvocars.com

Young adults and Boomers increasingly prefer renting

April 10, 2018

Younger Millennials and Baby Boomers increasingly are leaning toward renting rather than owning as an affordable solution to housing, based on survey findings of research released on April 4 by Freddie Mac Multifamily.

However, interestingly enough, both the Baby Boomers and the Millennials say they still want to live in single-family homes, according to the research, conducted on behalf of the federal agency by conducted on behalf of the agency by The Harris Poll.

Specifically, the agency’s latest Profile of Today’s Renter reveals that of those who expect to rent, 39% are looking for a single-family house; 27%, for a complex with more than 50 units; 12%, for a complex with fewer than 50 units; 11%, for a townhouse; and 7% for something else.

Over the past two years, younger Millennials and Baby Boomers have become less sure that they will purchase a home in the future—with the Millennials ages 21 to 27 decreasing in numbers of intended buyers from 51% in March 2015 to 31% in the “extremely likely” category; and the Boomers ages 53 to 71 seeing a definite, but smaller downturn, from 19% to 17% in the same segment.

Similarly, 67% of renters who will continue renting say they will do so for financial reasons—up from 59% just two years ago.

Indeed, overall, the survey found that, among those Baby Boomers who currently are renting, 50% do not anticipate buying a home in the future. Of those who believe they will not purchase property, 35% have no interest in owning and 15% believe they will never be able to afford it.

Research contact: Hellonyc@harrisinsights.com

Legislation in NYC would allow employees to unplug after work

April 3, 2018

In the “city that never sleeps,” there are still many people who would love to unplug. In recognition of that fact, New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-37th District), introduced the Disconnecting from Work bill on March 22, which would make it “unlawful for private employers in the City of New York to require employees to check and respond to email and other electronic communications during non-work hours.”

Such legislation would be very popular among workers in the Big Apple, based on findings of research conducted last month by The Harris Poll and released this week.

According to Harris Poll 2018 data from the National Day of Unplugging— March 9—nearly half of American workers (47%) strongly/somewhat agree that they wish their companies had digital detox policies restricting emails on the weekends. And more Millennials (31%) than any other age group would take a pay cut to work at a company that enforced digital restrictions for employees (e.g., no emails on vacation, after 11pm, or on weekends).

The problem that the legislation would address? One-quarter of respondents (25%) strongly/somewhat agree that it’s “difficult to unplug because my boss is always on.”

The bill would only apply to private businesses with ten or more employees and, if passed, it would prevent employers from taking action against employees who fail to respond to electronic communications when they are off duty, on vacation or taking sick leave. However, the law would not affect employees who work overtime or are on call all day.

“I think that because of technology, the lines have been blurred on when the work day begins and when the work day ends, and there are employers who take advantage of that fact,” Espinal said.“ I think this is a win-win, not only for the employee but also for the employers because their employees… [can] decompress, reduce anxiety and be able to perform better when they get to the work the next day.”

Employers who violate the law would be subject to a fine of $250.

Research contact: Hellonyc@harrisinsights.com

Americans favor Craftsman-style homes

April 2, 2018

There’s no place like home—but what kind of architectural style says “home” to you may differ by your age and income bracket, as well as the region of the country in which you live, based findings of a poll sponsored by Trulia released on February 28.

The research—which was conducted among 2,000 U.S. adults on behalf of the online real estate vendor by The Harris Poll—found that the top three home styles that are most popular coast-to-coast are the following:

  • Craftsman (sought after by 43% of buyers), defined by its low-pitched gabled roofs with broad eaves, large front porches, and exposed wooden structural elements;
  • Ranch (41%), typically constructed in a long, horizontal, one-story configuration; and
  • Colonial (36%), usually a two-story residence that is distinguished by a balanced layout—with the same number of windows on each side of the front door, and a living room to one side and a dining room to the other when you enter through the front door.

The researchers found that Millennials (ages 18–34), were more likely to favor craftsman-style homes (52%), while older adults, age 55+, favored ranch-style homes (52%).

Despite the overwhelming popularity of craftsman-style homes, ranch homes are much easier to find on the market. Among all the for-sale home listings on Trulia, the most common architectural styles are colonial, ranch, Cape Cod, Victorian, and mid-century.

However, style preferences range greatly, depending on the region of the U.S.A. in which a home buyer is looking. There are local surprises as well. Although brownstones are practically synonymous with New York City, colonial houses are actually more common in the city.

Similarly, although art deco is Miami‘s best-known architectural feature, mid-century homes are by far the most common throughout the city. And if you’re looking for a ranch-style home, Colorado Springs has the highest proportion of them in the country.

Depending on size of home and lot, age and condition of the property, and regional housing costs, the popular Craftsman homes range widely in asking price. While a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom 1905 Craftsman is selling for $170,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee; a five-bedroom, five-bathroom 1908 Craftsman is being marketed at $2.995 million in Portland, Oregon.

There’s no place like home—but what kind of architectural style says “home” to you may differ by your age and income bracket, as well as the region of the country in which you live, based findings of a poll sponsored by Trulia released on February 28.

The research—which was conducted among 2,000 U.S. adults on behalf of the online real estate vendor by The Harris Poll—found that the top three home styles that are most popular coast-to-coast are the following:

  • Craftsman (sought after by 43% of buyers), defined by its low-pitched gabled roofs with broad eaves, large front porches, and exposed wooden structural elements;
  • Ranch (41%), typically built in a long, horizontal, one-story configuration; and
  • Colonial (36%), usually a two-story residence that is distinguished by a balanced layout—with the same number of windows on each side of the front door, and a living room to one side and a dining room to the other when you enter through the front door.

The researchers found that Millennials (ages 18–34), were more likely to favor craftsman-style homes (52%), while older adults, age 55+, favored ranch-style homes (52%).

Despite the overwhelming popularity of craftsman-style homes, ranch homes are much easier to find on the market. Among all the for-sale home listings on Trulia, the most common architectural styles are colonial, ranch, Cape Cod, Victorian, and mid-century.

However, style preferences range greatly, depending on the region of the U.S.A. in which a home buyer is looking. There are local surprises as well. Although brownstones are practically synonymous with New York City, colonial houses are actually more common in the city.

Similarly, although art deco is Miami‘s best-known architectural feature, mid-century homes are by far the most common throughout the city. And if you’re looking for a ranch-style home, Colorado Springs has the highest proportion of them in the country.

Depending on size of home and lot, age and condition of the property, and regional housing costs, the popular Craftsman homes range widely in asking price. While a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom 1905 Craftsman is selling for $170,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee; a five-bedroom, five-bathroom 1908 Craftsman is being marketed at $2.995 million in Portland, Oregon.

Research contact: pr@trulia.com

Put down the coffee: Workers are using caffeine and sugar to combat stress

March 23, 2018

There is an epidemic of stress nationwide today, with the vast majority of U.S. workers—80%, according to the American Institute of Stress—experiencing on-the-job tension and anxiety.

What they are doing about it, U.S. News reports—chugging coffees (34%) and handfuls of candy, downing alcoholic drinks, resorting to prescription and recreational drugs, and acting out—may exacerbate the problem rather than help to solve it.

In a poll of 751 adult American workers sponsored by The Marlin Company, conducted by The Harris Poll, and cited by the institute, fully 25% of respondents admitted that job-related stress makes them feel like screaming, and 14% said that their stress levels have made them feel like hitting a coworker.

Thus, it is no surprise that 10% of respondents expressed fear that someone they know at work actually could turn violent, with another 18% reporting that they had experienced a threat or verbal intimidation within the past year.

Now, a survey sponsored by Salt Lake City-based Bridge has found that the pressures are growing worse, instead of being ameliorated. The study has found that the 24/7 culture of many companies may be adding to the stress.

Only 33% of the 1,000 U.S. office workers who participated in the study said they are encouraged by their employer to take paid time off, and only 11% are encouraged to take mental health days as part of their sick leave. Most (78% of workers) were convinced that working more hours would be crucial to getting ahead and about 50% reported feeling like they have to engage in workplace politics.

However, U.S. News cautions, be careful what you wish for—and what methods you use to relieve the stress that is generated along the path to achievement. Even coffee, which has some proven health benefits, can cause unpleasant symptoms like headaches and irritability if you drink too much of it, according to the Mayo Clinic.

And Harvard Medical School has warned that, if you eat too much added sugar—in the form of those M&Ms or candy bars—it boosts your risk of dying from heart disease. Plus it goes without saying that alcohol and drugs do not mix well with work.

Instead, experts advise, take paid time off, even if it is not encouraged by your company; unplug and de-stress for a few minutes every hour, exercise for anxiety relief—and plan ahead. Starting the day worried and disorganized can only set you up for more stress; while planning your calendar will enhance feelings of control and competence.

Research contact: info@getbridge.com

92% of Americans would want their newborn babies to be genetically tested

March 9, 2018

More than nine out of ten Americans (92%) believe that parents of newborns should be able to find out about their infants’ risk factors for treatable early onset disorders—which typically manifest during the first ten years of life— based on findings of a poll of 2,000 adults nationwide by Sema4, a health information company that offers genetic testing.

The study—conducted on behalf of Sema4 by The Harris Poll—established that 88% of Americans believe that, if they were new parents and could find out just after their baby’s birth about his or her genetic risk factors, they would want to know.

The results of the poll were announced on February 28, Rare Disease Day, an international day of awareness that shines a light on such illnesses and the ways in which they affect patients’ lives.

According to Global Genes and the Shire Rare Disease Index Report, more than 7,000 rare diseases have been identified—80% of which are caused by genetic abnormalities.

These diseases collectively affect 30 million Americans, half of whom are children. Today, it takes most rare disease patients an average of 8 years to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

While most rare diseases still have no FDA-approved treatment, some genetic diseases have known effective treatments, especially when administered early. These can be as simple as a change in diet or vitamin therapy, as is the case in pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy, which is treatable with a form of vitamin B6. Such a life-saving and simple intervention for this rare form of epilepsy was dramatically illustrated in a recent case at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

In the United States, newborns typically are screened at the hospital for 34 health conditions on the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), but the conditions screened vary by state and represent only a fraction of the genetic diseases that can manifest in a child’s first decade of life. Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy, for example, is not currently on any state panel.

“In my practice, I find that parents generally want as much information as possible related to the health of their babies, and access to genomic data now opens up a whole new era,” said Dr. Joanne Stone, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System, and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“When accompanied by appropriate genetic counseling,” stone added, “high-quality DNA testing can provide valuable, actionable insights and help guide decision-making as part of the parental journey, from pre-conception carrier screening to expanded screening for newborns. In general, we are finding that interest is growing among parents in taking more control of the health of their family.”

Sema4 Natalis, an at-home screening test, provides early insights into more than five times the number of genetic diseases on a standard state-mandated test, as well as the potential for adverse reactions to medications commonly prescribed during childhood.

Research contact: Nicole@Bioscribe.com