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Americans Are Pessimistic About U.S. Economy

A survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted in May highlights dissatisfaction with the U.S. economy, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

  • The new findings come from a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization that has measured public opinion since the 1970s.

The numbers: Eighty-three percent of respondents described the economy as poor or not so good, and 35% said that they are not at all satisfied with their current financial situation. That is the highest level of displeasure since NORC began asking the question in 1972.

  • Only 27% of respondents said they have a good chance of improving their standard of living, a 20-point drop from last year’s survey.

Inflation: Higher prices caused by inflation is one of several economic factors weighing on American consumers. Inflation is running at its highest rate in nearly 40 years, and as a result, Americans are having to dip into their savings to pay for necessities.

However, about two-thirds of survey respondents said it would be very easy or somewhat easy to find a new job with the same income and benefits as their current job. The unemployment rate in May was just 3.6%, approaching a half-century low.

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