Unemployment rates may be down, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of how the economy is doing on the ground level. Wage growth has been cripplingly slow, and it’s no secret the holiday bonus has become an endangered species of late, despite ballooning CEO pay that even Donald Trump has condemned.
This year, only 22% of Americans expect any extra money come the holidays, in the form of a holiday bonus, pay raise, or both, according to a new survey from Bankrate.
Of those 22%, Bankrate found a significant political difference: Far more Democrats expect a year-end financial boost than Republicans, to the tune of 32% to 20%.
Overall, Bankrate analyst Mike Cetera said that the bleak outlook for year-end bonuses was somewhat unexpected given largely positive economic trends. “I expected the numbers to be higher than they were,” he told Money. Breaking down the differences between Republicans and Democrats further, Cetera said that while both parties reported roughly equal rates of workers expecting raises or bonuses, far more Democrats expect both.
Previous Bankrate research has indicated that despite the perception that Republicans are better off financially, they are also more pessimistic and worry more about the state of their finances.
There are a few possible hypotheses why this is so. The most likely scenario, according to economist Ken Goldstein is that richer people worry more because they have money to worry about. “If you don’t have enough,” Goldstein told Bankrate, “you know you don’t have enough, so why worry more about it.”