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Public Opinion Snapshot: Economic Concern Hits New High

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During the 1991 – 92 recession, as much as 48 percent of the American public said they were worried about maintaining their standard of living. And now according to an early February Gallup poll, we just beat that record, and we’re not even (technically) in a recession yet.

What’s more, the public overwhelmingly believes that our economic situation is just going to get worse. An early March Gallup poll found that an extraordinary 85 percent of Americans believe economic conditions are getting worse, and just 10 percent think they’re getting better.

The public appetite for solutions and action to turn around the economy will only increase in the coming months. This will hopefully force the Bush administration to address the many problems that threaten families’ standard of living, but have been sorely neglected over the past seven years

The February Gallup poll found that three problems in particular were cited by at least three quarters of the U.S. public as negatively affecting their family financial situation: the rise in gasoline/home heating prices (86 percent), the rise in food prices (76 percent), and the rise in healthcare costs (74 percent).

Another five issues were cited by approximately half or more: the decline in the stock market (61 percent), more people losing their jobs (58 percent), the rise in the cost of college education (57 percent), the outsourcing of jobs overseas (53 percent), and the problems in the housing market (47 percent).

That’s a lot of problems. It’s time for our policymakers to get busy.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here