Economic News

8 in 10 Americans Hate the Economy



The level of pessimism about the economy of the United States is at its greatest level in half a century, with rising interest rates and inflation rates that are at their highest levels in decades.

According to a new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NORC at the University of Chicago, over 83 percent of respondents deemed the economy to be in poor or fair condition. This is the highest level of unhappiness since 1972, when NORC, one of the largest independent research organizations in the United States, began conducting the survey.

In addition, over one-third of respondents reported being completely dissatisfied with their financial status. According to WSJ reporting, 46 percent said they had no possibility of increasing their standard of living this year, and 38 percent said their financial status has worsened over the past few years for the first time since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.

According to the WSJ, the poll queried a random sample of more than 1,000 persons over the course of two weeks in May, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

According to Jennifer Benz, vice president of public relations and media research at NORC, who spoke to WSJ about the survey’s conclusions, inflation is the most influential element underlying the poll’s findings. Although inflation dropped in April after seven consecutive months of growth, consumer prices rose 8.3 percent from one year ago. In March, the annual increase of 8.5% was the highest rate since 1981.

The high-interest rates continue to place a financial strain on American consumers. AAA reports that the national average price of a gallon of normal gasoline has reached a record high of $4.87. Experts told Fortune in March that the trend is likely to continue into the summer, with prices predicted to exceed $5 in a big portion of the country over the next several months, perhaps causing more Americans to reduce their expenditure.

Inflation remains a concern for President Joe Biden and the Democratic party as they attempt to keep their majority in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives ahead of the midterm elections in November.


Biden stated in a WSJ op-ed last week that inflation is his “top economic priority” and outlined his plan to address the problem, which includes a three-pronged strategy to reduce the cost of everyday goods, reduce the national deficit, and permit the Federal Reserve to take the necessary steps to control financial distress status.

To combat inflation, the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate by 0.5 percentage points in May, the largest since 2000. Critics have previously asserted that the Fed responded too slowly to last year’s rising inflation rates.

Despite Americans’ pessimism about the nation’s economy, the most recent U.S. jobs report revealed 390,000 job additions in May, above expectations. Bloomberg reported that robust hiring in leisure and hospitality, business services, education, and health care drove job growth last month.

Approximately 67 percent of respondents to a WSJ–NORC survey said it would be somewhat or very easy to find a new job with similar pay and benefits.

According to the most recent U.S. jobs report, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6% last month, but the percentage of the population working or looking for work grew to 62.3%. A piece of uninspiring news for those looking to improve their living standard.

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