Feelings on Job Market Continue to be Grim

NEYORK,N.Y. – July 1, 2010 – The phrase that people keep hearing is the economic crisis will end with a jobless recovery as new job creation continues to lag. Even Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded that not all the jobs lost in the past few years will be coming back. Americans are aware of this and are concerned with the issue of jobs. Just one in ten U.S. adults say the job market in their region is good, while two-thirds (66%) say it is bad and one-quarter (25%) say it is neither good nor bad.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Looking more specifically at the different regions of the country, just 5% of Westerners say the job market in their region is good while 71% say it is bad. Just under one in ten Easterners (8%) and Midwesterners (9%) say the job market is good in their region though 68% in both regions say it is bad. In the South the outlook is a little better as 14% say the job market is good while three in five (60%) say it is bad.

 

Expectations for the Job Market

A majority of Americans do not expect the job market to change much in the coming months. Just over half (53%) say the job market in their region will remain the same over the next six months. One-quarter of U.S. adults (26%) believe it will get better over the next six months while one in five (21%) believe it will get worse.

Easterners are more optimistic than those in the other regions, as 30% say the job market will get better in the next six months and 15% believe it will get worse. Westerners are more likely to expect the status quo, as almost three in five (57%) believe the job market will remain the same over the next six months.

When asked when they believe the job market will start to improve, the dour outlook for the future comes through loud and clear. Two in five Americans (40%) say the job market will not start improving for another year or longer and one in five (20%) are not at all sure when it will start to improve. One in five U.S. adults (21%) are a little more optimistic and believe the job market will start to improve between 6 and 12 months from now. Just 8% say the job market has already started improving and 11% believe it will start getting better within the next six months.

 

So What?

Attitudes on the economy are important, but feelings on jobs may be even more important. Americans need to know that they will not lose their job because their company is in trouble. Until they feel this sense of security, there is no way that they will turn around on their attitudes towards the economy – regardless of what economists may be saying.

 

 

TABLE 1

RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET – TREND

How would you rate the current job market of your region of the nation?

Base: All adults

2008

2009

June

July

Jan

April

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

28

30

6

12

9

8

10

10

8

9

Neither good nor bad

18

19

18

20

19

21

22

20

18

19

BAD (NET)

53

51

76

68

72

71

68

70

73

72

2010

Jan

Mar.

April

May

June

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

8

10

12

10

Neither good nor bad

20

18

21

20

25

BAD (NET)

70

73

70

68

66

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 2

RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION – BY REGION

How would you rate the current job market of your region of the nation?

Base: All adults

Total

Region

East

Midwest

South

West

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

8

9

14

5

Very good

1

 

1

2

 

Somewhat good

9

8

9

12

5

Neither good nor bad

25

24

23

26

24

BAD (NET)

66

68

68

60

71

Somewhat bad

38

44

38

33

41

Very bad

28

23

30

27

30

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding; indicates less than 0.5%

 

 

TABLE 3

EXPECTATIONS FOR JOB MARKET IN SIX MONTHS – TREND

How do you think that the job market in your region of the nation will change over the next 6 months?

Base: All adults

Jan.

2009

April

2009

June

2009

August 2009

June 2010

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

15

23

21

28

26

Will be much better

1

3

2

2

1

Will be somewhat better

14

20

19

26

25

Will remain the same

36

42

47

47

53

WORSE (NET)

49

36

32

25

21

Will be somewhat worse

36

29

24

19

15

Will be much worse

14

7

8

6

6

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding; indicates less than 0.5%

 

 

TABLE 4

EXPECTATIONS FOR JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION IN SIX MONTHS

How do you think that the job market in your region of the nation will change over the next 6 months?

Base: All adults

Total

Region

East

Midwest

South

West

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

26

30

23

27

23

Will be much better

1

 

 

2

 

Will be somewhat better

25

30

23

25

23

Will remain the same

53

54

55

48

57

WORSE (NET)

21

15

21

25

20

Will be somewhat worse

15

10

15

16

17

Will be much worse

6

6

6

9

3

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding; indicates less than 0.5%

 

 

TABLE 5

WHEN WILL JOB MARKET IMPROVE – TREND

When do you believe the job market will start to improve?

Base: All adults

Dec

2009

Jan

2010

March

2010

April

2010

June

2010

%

%

%

%

%

Already has started growing

5

7

7

10

8

WITHIN NEXT SIX MONTHS (NET)

16

14

13

12

11

Between now and 3 months from now

4

5

4

4

3

Between 3 and 6 months from now

12

9

9

8

9

Between 6 and 12 months from now

24

24

21

21

21

Not for another year or longer

37

39

41

38

40

Not at all sure

18

16

19

20

20

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, 2010 among 2,227 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38301

Q730, 735, 740

The Harris Poll ® #85, July 1, 2010

By Regina Corso, Director The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

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