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Attitudes on the Economy Holding Steady over Time - but These Attitudes are Not Positive

Half of Americans say current job market in their region is bad

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic news is plentiful, and depending on who one listens to the economy is getting better, the economy may be sliding backwards or things are stagnant. But, regardless of what the experts think, how do Americans think the economy is going this month? On the whole, their thinking is that it's pretty flat. Looking first at how Americans think President Obama is handling the economy, just under three in ten (28%) give him positive marks for his handling of the economy while 72% give him negative ratings. This is similar to last month when 29% gave him positive marks and 71% gave him negative ones.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,236 adults surveyed online between January 15 and 20, 2014 by Harris Interactive. (Full findings, including data tables and complete trends, can be found here)

When it comes to the economy as a whole, attitudes are again very similar to last month. One-quarter of U.S. adults (26%) believe the economy will improve in the coming year, while 44% say it will stay the same and 30% say it will get worse. Last month, 27% believed the economy would improve, 42% said it would stay the same and 32% believed it would get worse.

Looking at individual households, half of Americans (49%) believe their household's financial condition will stay the same over the next six months, while 23% say it will get better and 29% believe it will be worse. Last November, as many Americans were getting started on their holiday spending, again half (50%) said it would stay the same, three in ten (30%) said their household finances would get worse and 20% believed they would be better in the next six months.

Looking at jobs
The mantra of this recovery is that the job market is lagging behind all other indicators. Americans do tend to be more pessimistic about jobs than about the general economy. Almost half of U.S. adults (48%) say the current job market in their region of the country is bad, one in five (21%) say it is good, and three in ten (31%) say it is neither good nor bad. This is almost unchanged from October, when 20% said it was good, 48% said it was bad and 32% of U.S. adults said the job market in their region was neither good nor bad. Looking at job markets by region, the South seems to be more optimistic than the East or Midwest about how theirs is. Almost three in ten Southerners (28%) say the job market in their region is good, compared to 16% of Midwesterners and 17% of Easterners who say the same.

Looking ahead, one-quarter of Americans (24%) say the job market in their region over the next six months will be better and 23% say that it will be worse; over half (53%) believe it remain the same. This is up a little from October when over one-quarter of U.S. adults (27%) said the job market in their region would be worse and one in five (20%) thought it would improve over the next six months.

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

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Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 15 and 20, 2014 among 2,236 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.

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Q705, 710, 715, 720, 725

The Harris Poll® #13, January 30, 2014
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.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
[email protected]

SOURCE Harris Interactive

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