Attitudes on the Economy Staying the Course

    NEW YORK , N.Y. Ð March 25, 2014 Ð Like general political attitudes, attitudes towards the economy are holding steady which, unfortunately, is not good as most of these numbers are on the negative side. First, looking at how President Obama is doing on the economy, three in ten Americans (31%) give him positive ratings on his handling of the economy while seven in ten (69%) give him negative marks. These numbers are unchanged from February.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll¨ of 2,234 adults surveyed online between March 12 and 17, 2014.

    Looking at overall attitudes on the economy, again things are holding mostly steady. One-quarter of U.S. adults (24%) say they expect the economy to improve in the coming year, while 45% say it will say the same and three in ten (31%) believe it will get worse. In February, 26% believed the economy would improve in the coming year, 43% believed it would stay the same and 32% said it would get worse. When this narrows a little to the householdÕs financial condition, just over one in five Americans (21%) say their householdÕs financial condition will be better in the next six months, half (52%) say it will stay the same and over one-quarter (27%) believe it will get worse. Again, this is similar to last month when 22% believed their householdÕs financial condition would get better, 52% believed it would remain the same and 26% said it would get worse.

    Attitudes on the Job Market

    While there have been promising numbers on the overall economy from economists and some leading indicators, the one common refrain is that job recovery will lag. AmericansÕ attitudes on jobs do seem to be lower than those on the overall economy. Almost half of U.S. adults (47%) say the job market in their region of the country is bad, with 60% of those in the East and over half in the Midwest (51%) saying this. One in five Americans (20%) say the current job market in their region is good and one-third (32%) believe it is neither good nor bad. These numbers are similar to January, when 21% believed the job market in their region was good and almost half (48%) believed it was bad.

    Looking ahead, over half of Americans (55%) believe that the job market in their region of the country will remain the same over the next six months. Almost one-quarter of U.S. adults (23%) believe the job market will be better over the next six months and 22% believe it will be worse. In January, 53% of Americans believed the job market in their region would remain the same, 24% thought it would get better and 23% believed it would get worse.

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    TABLE 1

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – TREND

    Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?Ó

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    March

    April

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Mar

    Apr

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    47

    49

    46

    43

    39

    40

    34

    36

    31

    32

    33

    36

    32

    32

    29

    Excellent

    13

    13

    10

    3

    9

    7

    6

    6

    5

    5

    6

    6

    5

    6

    5

    Pretty good

    34

    36

    36

    34

    31

    33

    27

    30

    25

    27

    27

    30

    27

    26

    24

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    53

    51

    54

    57

    61

    60

    66

    64

    69

    68

    67

    64

    68

    68

    71

    Only fair

    30

    27

    30

    27

    25

    27

    30

    30

    31

    30

    31

    29

    32

    29

    31

    Poor

    23

    24

    24

    30

    36

    33

    37

    34

    39

    37

    36

    34

    37

    39

    40

    2010

    2011

    2012

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    27

    31

    30

    33

    33

    33

    32

    27

    26

    21

    23

    22

    25

    25

    32

    32

    Excellent

    5

    5

    5

    7

    9

    5

    7

    5

    3

    2

    3

    3

    4

    2

    3

    5

    Pretty good

    22

    26

    25

    26

    24

    28

    26

    22

    23

    18

    20

    20

    22

    22

    29

    27

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    73

    69

    70

    67

    62

    67

    68

    73

    74

    79

    77

    78

    75

    75

    68

    68

    Only fair

    33

    30

    34

    30

    22

    29

    28

    30

    33

    33

    36

    32

    34

    34

    30

    29

    Poor

    39

    39

    36

    37

    39

    38

    40

    43

    41

    46

    41

    46

    41

    41

    38

    39

    2013

    2014

    Feb

    Mar

    April

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    36

    33

    39

    35

    33

    29

    30

    30

    29

    28

    31

    31

    Excellent

    4

    6

    6

    5

    5

    4

    5

    6

    4

    5

    4

    5

    Pretty good

    32

    27

    32

    31

    28

    28

    25

    24

    25

    23

    27

    26

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    64

    67

    61

    65

    67

    71

    70

    70

    71

    72

    69

    69

    Only fair

    26

    26

    26

    29

    29

    31

    28

    29

    30

    30

    29

    27

    Poor

    38

    41

    35

    36

    38

    40

    42

    41

    41

    42

    40

    42

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; In February 2012 ÒNot at all sureÓ was offered as a response choice and 4% responded in that way.


    TABLE 2

    EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR – TREND

    In the coming year, do you expect the economy toÉ?Ó

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    April

    May

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    39

    38

    46

    40

    34

    38

    30

    29

    28

    30

    34

    29

    Stay the same

    35

    35

    32

    36

    37

    34

    42

    39

    40

    40

    41

    45

    Get worse

    26

    27

    22

    24

    29

    28

    28

    32

    32

    30

    25

    26

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Feb

    June

    July

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    34

    26

    23

    21

    20

    23

    36

    33

    32

    30

    29

    32

    Stay the same

    42

    41

    41

    45

    46

    47

    40

    31

    40

    37

    41

    42

    Get worse

    25

    33

    37

    34

    34

    29

    24

    36

    28

    33

    29

    25

    2013

    2014

    June

    July

    Aug.

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Nov.

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    32

    29

    27

    22

    22

    25

    27

    26

    26

    24

    Stay the same

    41

    44

    42

    46

    37

    44

    42

    44

    43

    45

    Get worse

    27

    27

    31

    32

    41

    32

    32

    30

    32

    31

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

     

    TABLE 3

    EXPECTATIONS FOR HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL CONDITION IN NEXT SIX MONTHS

    ÒThinking about your householdÕs financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?Ó

    Base: All adults

    2013

    2014

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    23

    21

    22

    26

    24

    24

    19

    18

    20

    23

    22

    21

    Much better

    3

    3

    4

    5

    4

    5

    4

    3

    4

    4

    4

    4

    Somewhat better

    20

    17

    18

    20

    20

    19

    15

    15

    16

    18

    19

    17

    Will remain the same

    50

    49

    49

    50

    53

    49

    52

    48

    50

    49

    52

    52

    WORSE (NET)

    27

    30

    28

    24

    23

    26

    29

    34

    30

    29

    26

    27

    Somewhat worse

    20

    21

    20

    18

    17

    18

    21

    24

    19

    19

    18

    19

    Much worse

    7

    9

    8

    6

    6

    9

    8

    11

    11

    10

    8

    8

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


    TABLE 4

    RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION – TREND

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

    Base: All adults

    2008

    2009

    2010

    June

    July

    Jan

    April

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Mar.

    April

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    28

    30

    6

    12

    9

    8

    10

    10

    8

    9

    10

    8

    10

    Neither good nor bad

    18

    19

    18

    20

    19

    21

    22

    20

    18

    19

    20

    18

    21

    BAD (NET)

    53

    51

    76

    68

    72

    71

    68

    70

    73

    72

    70

    73

    70

    2010

    2011

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    12

    10

    12

    10

    13

    11

    13

    13

    15

    13

    16

    12

    11

    9

    Neither good nor bad

    20

    25

    22

    21

    21

    23

    24

    22

    24

    22

    23

    24

    22

    24

    BAD (NET)

    68

    66

    66

    69

    66

    66

    63

    65

    61

    65

    61

    64

    67

    67

    2012

    2013

    2014

    Jan

    March

    Feb

    Aug

    Oct

    Jan

    March

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    14

    20

    21

    23

    20

    21

    20

    Neither good nor bad

    21

    24

    31

    31

    32

    31

    32

    BAD (NET)

    65

    56

    48

    46

    48

    48

    47

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

     

    TABLE 5

    RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION Ð BY REGION

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

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Region

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    20

    17

    21

    23

    18

    Very good

    3

    1

    3

    4

    2

    Somewhat good

    18

    16

    18

    19

    17

    Neither good nor bad

    32

    33

    28

    34

    33

    BAD (NET)

    47

    60

    51

    43

    48

    Somewhat bad

    31

    33

    36

    27

    31

    Very bad

    17

    17

    15

    16

    18

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

     

    TABLE 6

    EXPECTATIONS FOR JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION OVER NEXT SIX MONTHS Ð TREND

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

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    Jan

    April

    June

    Aug

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    15

    23

    21

    28

    26

    23

    21

    23

    30

    25

    Will be much better

    1

    3

    2

    2

    1

    2

    2

    3

    2

    2

    Will be somewhat better

    14

    20

    19

    26

    25

    21

    19

    20

    28

    23

    Will remain the same

    36

    42

    47

    47

    53

    49

    53

    53

    50

    54

    WORSE (NET)

    49

    36

    32

    25

    21

    27

    26

    24

    21

    22

    Will be somewhat worse

    36

    29

    24

    19

    15

    22

    20

    18

    15

    16

    Will be much worse

    14

    7

    8

    6

    6

    5

    6

    6

    6

    6

    2011

    2012

    2013

    2014

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    July

    Jan

    March

    Feb

    Aug

    Oct

    Jan

    Mar

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    31

    31

    32

    30

    22

    27

    33

    28

    25

    20

    24

    23

    Will be much better

    4

    4

    2

    4

    2

    2

    3

    2

    3

    1

    2

    2

    Will be somewhat better

    26

    27

    30

    26

    20

    25

    30

    26

    22

    19

    21

    21

    Will remain the same

    51

    51

    52

    49

    53

    53

    50

    52

    52

    53

    53

    55

    WORSE (NET)

    18

    18

    16

    21

    25

    21

    17

    19

    24

    27

    23

    22

    Will be somewhat worse

    13

    13

    11

    14

    17

    14

    11

    15

    17

    19

    16

    16

    Will be much worse

    6

    5

    6

    7

    8

    7

    6

    5

    7

    8

    7

    7

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

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,234 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 respondentsÕ 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, The Harris Poll avoids the words Òmargin of errorÓ 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 Poll 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 our 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 The Harris Poll.

    Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

    The Harris Poll¨ #28, March 25, 2014

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, The Harris Poll and Public Relations Research

    About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

    On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll. Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.