Tags: Survey | Americans | Financial Shape | Recession

Survey: Three Out Of Four Americans Feel Like Recession Continues

By    |   Wednesday, 24 September 2014 05:19 PM

Americans have a bleak view of the economy and their own financial situations, according to a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute.

While the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, only 21 percent of Americans believe it's really over, while 72 percent believe it continues.

Only 7 percent of Americans report they are in excellent shape financially, while 34 percent say they're in good shape, 37 percent say they're in fair shape, and 20 percent say they're in poor shape.

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Just 30 percent believe the economy has improved during the past two years, while 35 percent say it has worsened, and 33 percent say it is about the same.

Meanwhile, 36 percent of Americans say that someone in their household had to cut back on food to save money during the last year.

“It looks a little gloomy,” said Robert Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted the survey in conjunction with the Brookings Institution. “There's been a wavering belief in the concept of the American Dream. About half said it once held true but does no longer. One in 10 said it never was true,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

“Despite the fact that there has been improvement in the economy since the Great Recession, approximately four in ten Americans live in households experiencing high or moderate levels of economic insecurity,” Jones told MainStreet.com. “Economic insecurity remains highly stratified by race, with nearly six in ten black Americans living in households with high or moderate levels of economic insecurity.”

Meanwhile PBS Newshour reported that the most common economic fear "reveals a human suffering more visceral, and perhaps less publicized, than layoffs or unemployment rolls: food insecurity," with 36 percent of respondents saying they’d experienced it.

"It’s possible that’s the budgetary item Americans feel they have the most control over (compared to whether they pay a monthly bill or not, for example), and thus find it easiest to cut. It’s not specified whether “cutting back to save money” means going hungry or forgoing an $8 bag of almonds," PBS Newshour reported.

Life has been tough for many Americans for quite a while, says Wall Street Journal columnist William Galston.

"The American economy hasn't worked for average families since the end of the Clinton administration," he writes.

"A recovery that leaves them out is no recovery at all, and they know it. This simple fact goes a long way toward explaining the tone of our current politics and the temper of our society."

Median household income totaled $51,939 in 2013, down 8 percent from 2007.

"The median earnings for Americans working full-time year round haven't changed much since 2007," Galston says. "But more than five years into the recovery, there are fewer such workers than before the recession."

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

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Americans have a bleak view of the economy and their own financial situations, according to a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute.
Survey, Americans, Financial Shape, Recession
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2014-19-24
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 05:19 PM
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