These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,496 adults surveyed online
Looking at household financial conditions, half of Americans (50%) believe their financial conditions will remain the same over the next six months, while 23% believe it will be better and 27% believe it will get worse. There is a generational divide, with Echo Boomers (those 18-36) more likely than Matures (those 67 and older) to believe things will be better – 30% vs. 14%.
The Job Market
While there is still a concern about unemployment, more Americans say the job market in their region of the country is good (21%) than have said so since July of 2008, when 30% called the job market good. Although the numbers are improving, almost half of U.S. adults say that the job market in their region is bad (48%), while 31% say it is neither good nor bad.
The improvements in the job market are encouraging, but expectations for the future are mixed. Currently, 28% of Americans believe the job market in their region is going to be better over the next six months, while half (52%) say it will remain the same. One in five (19%) think it will be worse. Looking back almost a year to last March, one-third of U.S. adults (33%) thought the job market would be getting better, half (50%) thought it would remain the same and 17% believed it would be getting worse over the next six months.
Politics and the Economy
With all eyes on
The Cost of Living
One of the main issues with this recovery is that expenses, such as gas, are taking a growing toll on paychecks that haven't increased very much in the past few years. A majority of Americans (57%) are concerned that their family's income will not be enough to cover all of their costs and expenses this year, while 43% are not concerned. One positive note is that this is down from the 63% who stated they were concerned last year. Not surprisingly, the higher a person's household income, the less likely they are to be concerned about covering their costs and expenses. However, it is somewhat alarming that large numbers of people even in the highest income brackets—47% of those who earn