Tags: Poll | Jobs | Economy | America

Poll: Most Americans Unhappy About Economy, Fear Losing Their Jobs

By Michael Kling   |   Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 06:41 PM

Most Americans are unhappy about the economy and worried about losing their jobs, reveals a new Washington Post-Miller Center poll.

Among those with jobs, 62 percent said they worry about losing their jobs because of the economy, including 32 percent who worry "a lot" and 30 percent who worry "a little."

In addition, 73 percent said they are dissatisfied with the economy, including 27 percent who are somewhat dissatisfied and 46 percent who are very dissatisfied.

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Almost half (48 percent) say they feel less financially secure than they did a few years ago, compared with 23 percent who feel more secure and 29 percent who feel about the same.

Lower-income Americans are the most insecure, the survey indicates. Of those making $35,000 a year or less, 54 percent worry a lot about losing their jobs. By contrast, 29 percent of workers earning between $35,000 and $75,000 and just 17 percent of those earning more than $75,000 worry a lot about losing their jobs.

Insecurity among lower-income workers is higher than it's been since the 1970s, according to the Post's article about the poll.

Most lower-wage workers (85 percent) also worry they won't make enough to pay their bills, compared with 32 percent in a 1971 survey.

"I can’t save money to buy the things I need to live as a human being," said one low-income man profiled by the Post.

Still, Americans are generally happier about their personal situations. Sixty-one percent said they are satisfied with their personal financial situation, compared with 37 percent who are dissatisfied.

Over a quarter (26 percent) believes it's more likely their social class will slip backward over the next few years, but 45 percent think they'll probably move up. Over half (54 percent) say they're better off than their parents, while 27 percent say they're about the same and 18 percent say they're worse off.

According to the Economic Security Index, insecurity rose substantially in all states during the past decade but was already increasing before the recession.

"While the Great Recession produced peak levels of insecurity in nearly all states, insecurity rose substantially before the downturn as well. Every state had higher average insecurity between 1997 and 2007 than between 1986 and 1996," states the index's 2013 report.

Economic security is greatly influenced by levels of unemployment and college education in a state, notes the index, developed by Yale University political science professor Jacob S. Hacker.

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