Americans Still Pessimistic About Job Market

More than two in five say it will be at least a year before it starts to improve

Oct 27, 2010, 06:02 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- With all the financial reports released each month, one thing that seems to garner the attention of even people who may not usually be aware of economic news is the unemployment report. Talk of a jobless recovery dominates the airwaves and Americans definitely do not see any good news about jobs. Just over one in ten U.S. adults (13%) say the job market in their area of the country is good and two-thirds (66%) say it is bad.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Expectations for the job market

Westerners seem to feel the worst about the job market, as almost three-quarters of them (73%) say it is bad in their region of the country and only 8% say it is good. Southerners feel the best about the job market, as almost one in five (18%) say the job market in their region is good while 58% say it is bad.

Looking ahead six months, there isn't much optimism. Less than one-quarter of Americans (23%) believe the job market in their region will be better in six months while one-quarter (24%) say it will be worse. Over half of Americans (53%) believe the job market will remain the same over the next six months.

Will the job market actually start to improve?  More than two in five U.S. adults (43%) say it will not happen for another year or even longer, the highest number of Americans who have said this since the question was first asked in December 2009. One in five (22%) U.S. adults say the job market will not start improving for another 6 to 12 months from now. Yet, there are some people who see the recovery starting even sooner for the job market, as 12% believe it will start to improve in the next 6 months and 7% say it has already started growing.

Concern over unemployment

With worries over the job market, there is also some concern over personally becoming unemployed. Almost two in five Americans (37%) say they are concerned that the main income earner in their household might become unemployed in the next six months while 28% are not very concerned. Just over one-third of U.S. adults (35%) say they are not at all concerned this might happen.

So What?

Economic news can be fairly abstract to many Americans. They hear the leading indicators, but outside of economists, most cannot say what they are indicators of.  Jobs, however, people understand and worry about. The lack of optimism is something that has held steady for some time and, at this point, it may take something very strong to jumpstart Americans' thinking positively.

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

Aug

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

8

10

12

10

12

10

13

Neither good nor bad

20

18

21

20

25

22

21

21

BAD (NET)

70

73

70

68

66

66

69

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)

13

12

11

18

8

 Very good

2

1

1

3

3

 Somewhat good

11

10

10

15

6

Neither good nor bad

21

22

20

24

19

BAD (NET)

66

66

69

58

73

 Somewhat bad

39

43

41

34

40

 Very bad

27

24

28

24

33

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

Aug

2010

Sept

2010

Oct

2010

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

15

23

21

28

26

23

21

23

 Will be much better

1

3

2

2

1

2

2

3

 Will be somewhat better

14

20

19

26

25

21

19

20

Will remain the same

36

42

47

47

53

49

53

53

WORSE (NET)

49

36

32

25

21

27

26

24

 Will be somewhat worse

36

29

24

19

15

22

20

18

 Will be much worse

14

7

8

6

6

5

6

6

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



TABLE 4

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

Oct 2010

%

%

%

%

%

%

Already has started growing

5

7

7

10

8

7

WITHIN NEXT SIX MONTHS (NET)

16

14

13

12

11

12

 Between now and 3 months from now

4

5

4

4

3

3

 Between 3 and 6 months from now

12

9

9

8

9

9

Between 6 and 12 months from now

24

24

21

21

21

22

Not for another year or longer

37

39

41

38

40

43

Not at all sure

18

16

19

20

20

16

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



TABLE 5

CONCERN OVER BECOMING UNEMPLOYED

"How concerned are you that the main income earner in your household might become unemployed in the next 6 months?"

Base:  All adults


April

2009

June

2009

Aug

2009

Aug

2010

Oct 2010

%

%

%

%

%

CONCERNED (NET)

43

42

39

38

37

 Very concerned

17

16

14

16

16

 Somewhat concerned

26

27

25

22

21

NOT CONCERNED (NET)

57

58

61

62

63

 Not very concerned

26

27

28

29

28

 Not at all concerned

31

31

32

32

35

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



Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 11 to 18, 2010 among 3,084 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.

J38848

Q720, 725, 730, 735

The Harris Poll® #129, October 27, 2010

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

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and 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

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive



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