In honor of Women’s History Month, ThinkNow Research took a closer look at our 4th annual consumer sentiment study in search of the similarities and differences between the genders when it comes to the economic issues they are most concerned about.
Let's look at the facts. For the males surveyed, the top 3 issues were availability of jobs, rising prices, and national budget deficit:
For females, their top 3 issues were slightly different with rising prices topping their list of concerns closely followed by availability of jobs and in a distant third, the national budget deficit:
A couple of interesting differences here is how women are significantly more concerned with rising prices than men, 37% vs. 26% respectively note rising prices as their top concern. Conversely, while the national budget deficit rounds out both of the top 3, women are much less concerned about it than men, 14% vs. 20% respectively.
The increased concern for rising prices is particularly pronounced when we take a look at African-American women vs. African-American men:
Women are definitely on to something. The stagnation in real wages over the past few decades coupled with a persistent gender wage gap make women keenly aware of any uptick in prices. While we have been enjoying a steady decrease in oil prices we are now seeing oil prices slowly creep back up which in turn affects almost every good and service we purchase.
This data shows clear differences in how women view economic concerns vs. men and points to a new way to look at consumer sentiment. While looking at this data overall is helpful for markets, a more nuanced approach may illuminate untold stories that are worth taking a closer look at.
As women often control the majority of purchasing decisions in the household, understanding their consumer sentiment is crucial for companies looking to grow in a year where overall consumer confidence is weakening.
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