WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time in Gallup’s 20 years of tracking Americans’ views of various business and industry sectors, farming and agriculture is the clear leader. The former top-ranking industries — restaurants and computers — remain in the top four, with the grocery industry rounding out the group. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry’s image has improved modestly since last year, and it has yielded the “worst rated” distinction back to the federal government.
This year’s rankings reflect significant changes in the ratings of six industries, three of which are delivering vital goods and services to Americans during the pandemic. These three — healthcare, farming and pharmaceuticals — are all rated more positively this year than in 2019, although where they rank on the list differs.
- Farming and agriculture was already among the top-rated industries before 2020, but it has now moved to No. 1 with a 69% positive rating — an 11-percentage-point increase.
- With a 13-point increase to 51%, the healthcare industry has advanced from the third-lowest-ranked industry to near the middle of the pack. This is the first time in the 20 years of Gallup measurement that a majority of Americans have rated healthcare positively. The latest reading mirrors the increase in Americans’ confidence in the medical system that Gallup found earlier this year.
- The pharmaceutical industry’s positive rating has increased seven points to 34%. The industry is now the second-lowest-rated on a net (positive minus negative rating) basis.
Additionally, the internet industry has seen a six-point increase in its positive rating to 49%. It still lags behind the computer industry (at 56%), but the gap is narrower than usual.
Rather than engendering sympathy from Americans, the travel industry, which has been decimated by social distancing requirements, as well as by people’s reluctance to fly and stay in hotels, has seen its positive rating slip 11 points to 41%.
The biggest slide, however, has been for the sports industry, with its positive score falling 15 points — from 45% to 30%.
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