Principal Financial Well-Being Index: Employees remain a priority, businesses are wary yet hopeful

America's businesses are responsible caretakers of their employees in a roller-coaster pandemic economy.

New data from the third wave of the 2020 Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM show the greater strain on businesses of surging infection rates late in the year and the resulting economic uncertainty. But our November 13-22 survey of 507 for-profit companies, ranging in size from two to 10,000 employees, also displays their resilience and ethical leadership. They've managed to maintain or even boost employee benefits.

Graphic showing that 70% of businesses haven't decreased their benefits.

Graphic showing that 31% of businesses plan to add or increase telehealth benefits in the next 12 months.

Graphic showing that business leaders top 3 priorities in 2020 are keeping employees healthy, maintaining customer and client relationships, and supporting employee emotional and mental health.

Graphic showing that of the businesses that are fully operational 56% are larger than 500 employees, 39% are smaller than 500 employees, 48% are urban, and 23% are rural.

Graphic showing that 47% of all businesses are concerned about closing permanently because of the economic impact of COVID-19.

Graphic showing that 82% of business leaders remain confident or hopeful for the future.

Graphic showing that many businesses still see their economic recovery as distant and more distant than initially expected.

The details of the survey

The 2020 Principal Financial Well-Being Index was released in waves to better track businesses throughout the pandemic and its historic economic disruption. The first 2020 wave of the survey (PDF) was fielded in June, followed by a second wave in September (PDF), and now this new data.

The 507 for-profit companies surveyed are evenly spread among employers nationwide ranging in size from two to 10,000 employees.

To get more of this timely insight into business in 2021:

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