Over four-fifths of Americans think the state of the economy is “poor” or “not good,” according to a Wall Street Journal-NORC Poll released Monday.
Approximately 83% of respondents said they had a negative outlook on the economy, while 35% said they were not at all satisfied with their current financial situation, The Wall Street Journal reported. The latter is the highest percentage recorded since NORC began asking the question in 1972.
Only 27% of respondents said they think they have a good chance of improving their standard of living, representing a 20-point decline from 2021. Almost 40% said their financial situation had worsened over the past couple of years.
The rise of inflation was the most common reason given for the negative economic perspective, Jennifer Benz, vice president of public affairs and media research at NORC, told the WSJ.
The annual rate of inflation was 8.3% in April, which represented the largest year-over-year increase since January 1982, excluding March of this year. The cost of gas is a major factor in the increase, with the price at the pump surging to all-time records, according to AAA data.
The unemployment rate, however, is at its lowest in nearly half a century, the WSJ reported. Approximately two-thirds of respondents noted they thought it would be somewhat or very easy to secure a position that had their current job’s salary and benefits.
The poll also measured respondents’ thoughts on partisan divisions within the U.S., with 86% responding that Americans are greatly divided over the most important issues. A majority said they expected the divide to become even larger over the next five years.
“In the prior years that we’ve asked this question, there’s at least been some hope, a little bit more hope, that things might get better,” Benz told the WSJ. “That’s a key difference underlying all of this right now.”
The poll surveyed 1,071 adults between May 9-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.
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