Looking at the economy in general, people are turning more pessimistic. In June, one-quarter of Americans (26%) expected the overall economy to improve in the coming year, two in five (41%) thought it would stay the same and one-third (33%) thought it would get worse. This month, while two in five (41%) still think the economy will stay the same, 37% believe it will get worse and 23% think it will get better in the coming year. This is a question that has been asked on and off since spring 2009 and this is the most pessimistic people have been.
And when asked specifically when they think the economy will begin growing again, almost half of Americans (47%) say not for another year or longer, 16% say between 6 and 12 months from now, 8% say within the next six months and only one in ten (11%) believe it has already started growing. In March, one in five (21%) thought the economy had already started growing.
The job market
Hand in hand with pessimism on the overall economy is pessimism on the job market. Two-thirds of Americans (64%) rate the current job market in their region of the country as bad, one in ten (12%) rate it as good and one-quarter (24%) say it is neither good nor bad. In May, three in five U.S. adults said the job market was bad (61%), 16% said it was good and 23% said it was neither good nor bad.
There is also not a lot of hope for the next six months. Just one in five (22%) Americans say they think the job market in their region of the nation will be better over the next six months, over half say it will remain the same (53%) and one-quarter (25%) believe it will get worse. In May, three in ten U.S. adults (30%) thought the job market would get better while one in five (21%) thought it would get worse.
While expectations on the job market were always on the lower side, Americans had begun feeling better about the overall economy. In February, over one-third of U.S. adults (34%) thought the economy would improve in the coming year while just one-quarter (25%) thought it would get worse. Now things look gloomy yet again. And, this is what is wearing on the American psyche - things change so quickly and the hope that things are improving gets dashed in just a few short months. It is tiring and is one of the reasons that only one-quarter of people say things are going in the right direction in the country. Until there is a steady drum beat of good news that people believe will last, this pessimism will continue.