Overall Attitudes on the Economy Continue to Move Downwards After Government Shutdown

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – October 29, 2013 – How much damage did the government shutdown do to Americans’ attitudes on the economy? Unfortunately, maybe a lot – and now the question becomes, will these attitudes become a new reality or will they settle down in a month or two?

    For the President, things haven’t changed that much month over month. This month, three in ten Americans (30%) give President Obama positive ratings for his handling of the economy while 70% give him negative marks. This is almost unchanged from last month, when 29% gave him positive marks and 71% gave President Obama negative ratings.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,368 adults surveyed online between October 16 and 21, 2013 by Harris Interactive. Please note that most of the data was collected after the government re-opened after the shutdown.

    General economic conditions and the job market

    Looking ahead, there is definitely a sense of pessimism on the economy in the next few months. Last month, almost half of U.S. adults (46%) said, in the coming year, that they expect the economy to stay the same, while less than one-quarter (22%) expected it to improve and one-third (32%) expected it to get worse. This month, while 22% still believe the economy will improve in the upcoming year, now four in ten Americans (41%) believe the economy will get worse and 37% say it will stay the same.

    There is also a growing sense of pessimism on household finances. While just under half of Americans (48%) say they believe their household financial condition will stay the same in the next six months, 18% believe it will get better and one-third (34%) say it will get worse. In September, 19% believed it would get better and 29% believed it would get worse.

    When it comes to the job market, the sense of pessimism is not as severe as with the overall economy. One in five Americans (20%) say the current job market in their region is good, while one-third (32%) say it is neither good nor bad and almost half (48%) say it is bad. In August, almost one-quarter (23%) said the job market was good and 46% said it was bad. Looking ahead six months, one in five U.S. adults (20%) say they job market in their region will get better, 53% say it will remain the same and 27% believe it will get worse. Two months ago, one-quarter of Americans (25%) said the job market would be better in six months and 24% believed it would get worse.

    To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

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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?

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    March

    April

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Mar

    Apr

    May

    June

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    47

    49

    46

    43

    39

    40

    34

    36

    31

    32

    33

    36

    32

    Excellent

    13

    13

    10

    3

    9

    7

    6

    6

    5

    5

    6

    6

    5

    Pretty good

    34

    36

    36

    34

    31

    33

    27

    30

    25

    27

    27

    30

    27

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    53

    51

    54

    57

    61

    60

    66

    64

    69

    68

    67

    64

    68

    Only fair

    30

    27

    30

    27

    25

    27

    30

    30

    31

    30

    31

    29

    32

    Poor

    23

    24

    24

    30

    36

    33

    37

    34

    39

    37

    36

    34

    37

    2010

    2011

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    32

    29

    27

    31

    30

    33

    33

    33

    32

    27

    26

    21

    23

    Excellent

    6

    5

    5

    5

    5

    7

    9

    5

    7

    5

    3

    2

    3

    Pretty good

    26

    24

    22

    26

    25

    26

    24

    28

    26

    22

    23

    18

    20

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    68

    71

    73

    69

    70

    67

    62

    67

    68

    73

    74

    79

    77

    Only fair

    29

    31

    33

    30

    34

    30

    22

    29

    28

    30

    33

    33

    36

    Poor

    39

    40

    39

    39

    36

    37

    39

    38

    40

    43

    41

    46

    41

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    Feb

    Mar

    April

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    22

    25

    25

    32

    32

    36

    33

    39

    35

    33

    29

    30

    Excellent

    3

    4

    2

    3

    5

    4

    6

    6

    5

    5

    4

    5

    Pretty good

    20

    22

    22

    29

    27

    32

    27

    32

    31

    28

    28

    25

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    78

    75

    75

    68

    68

    64

    67

    61

    65

    67

    71

    70

    Only fair

    32

    34

    34

    30

    29

    26

    26

    26

    29

    29

    31

    28

    Poor

    46

    41

    41

    38

    39

    38

    41

    35

    36

    38

    40

    42

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

     

    TABLE 2

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – By party and philosophy

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

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    30

    6

    54

    27

    9

    33

    55

    Excellent

    5

     

    11

    2

    2

    5

    9

    Pretty good

    25

    6

    43

    25

    7

    28

    46

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    70

    94

    46

    73

    91

    67

    45

    Only fair

    28

    19

    31

    30

    20

    31

    31

    Poor

    42

    75

    15

    43

    71

    36

    14

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

     

    TABLE 3

    EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR – TREND

    In the coming year, do you expect the economy toâ€_?

    Base: All adults

    2009

    2010

    2011

    April

    May

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Feb

    June

    July

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    39

    38

    46

    40

    34

    38

    30

    29

    28

    30

    34

    29

    34

    26

    23

    Stay the same

    35

    35

    32

    36

    37

    34

    42

    39

    40

    40

    41

    45

    42

    41

    41

    Get worse

    26

    27

    22

    24

    29

    28

    28

    32

    32

    30

    25

    26

    25

    33

    37

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Aug.

    Sept.

    Oct.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    21

    20

    23

    36

    32

    30

    29

    32

    32

    29

    27

    22

    22

    Stay the same

    45

    46

    47

    40

    40

    37

    41

    42

    41

    44

    42

    46

    37

    Get worse

    34

    34

    29

    24

    28

    33

    29

    25

    27

    27

    31

    32

    41

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


    TABLE 4

    EXPECTATIONS FOR HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL CONDITION IN NEXT SIX MONTHS

    Thinking about your household’s financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?

    Base: All adults

    2013

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    23

    21

    22

    26

    24

    24

    19

    18

    Much better

    3

    3

    4

    5

    4

    5

    4

    3

    Somewhat better

    20

    17

    18

    20

    20

    19

    15

    15

    Will remain the same

    50

    49

    49

    50

    53

    49

    52

    48

    WORSE (NET)

    27

    30

    28

    24

    23

    26

    29

    34

    Somewhat worse

    20

    21

    20

    18

    17

    18

    21

    24

    Much worse

    7

    9

    8

    6

    6

    9

    8

    11

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

     

    TABLE 5

    RATING OF CURRENT JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION – 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

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    10

    8

    10

    12

    10

    12

    10

    13

    11

    13

    Neither good nor bad

    20

    18

    21

    20

    25

    22

    21

    21

    23

    24

    BAD (NET)

    70

    73

    70

    68

    66

    66

    69

    66

    66

    63

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Jan

    Feb

    March

    May

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    Jan

    March

    Feb

    Aug

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    13

    15

    13

    16

    12

    11

    9

    14

    20

    21

    23

    20

    Neither good nor bad

    22

    24

    22

    23

    24

    22

    24

    21

    24

    31

    31

    32

    BAD (NET)

    65

    61

    65

    61

    64

    67

    67

    65

    56

    48

    46

    48

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


    TABLE 6

    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)

    20

    19

    19

    22

    18

    Very good

    1

    1

    3

    1

    1

    Somewhat good

    18

    18

    16

    20

    18

    Neither good nor bad

    32

    31

    33

    34

    28

    BAD (NET)

    48

    50

    48

    44

    54

    Somewhat bad

    33

    36

    35

    28

    35

    Very bad

    16

    14

    13

    16

    19

    Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding; indicates less than .05%

     

    TABLE 7

    EXPECTATIONS FOR JOB MARKET IN YOUR REGION OVER NEXT 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

    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

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    July

    Jan

    March

    Feb

    Aug

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    31

    31

    32

    30

    22

    27

    33

    28

    25

    20

    Will be much better

    4

    4

    2

    4

    2

    2

    3

    2

    3

    1

    Will be somewhat better

    26

    27

    30

    26

    20

    25

    30

    26

    22

    19

    Will remain the same

    51

    51

    52

    49

    53

    53

    50

    52

    52

    53

    WORSE (NET)

    18

    18

    16

    21

    25

    21

    17

    19

    24

    27

    Will be somewhat worse

    13

    13

    11

    14

    17

    14

    11

    15

    17

    19

    Will be much worse

    6

    5

    6

    7

    8

    7

    6

    5

    7

    8

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

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 16 and 21, 2013 among 2,368 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.

    J43567

    Q705, 710, 715, 720, 725

    The Harris Poll® #76, October 29, 2013

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

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll® Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client’s research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.