Only One-Third of Americans Give President Obama Positive Marks on Economy

Two-thirds of U.S. adults say job market in their region is bad

Mar 21, 2011, 10:12 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- While President Obama's overall approval rating has seen some ups and downs over the past few months, the ratings on how he is handling the economy have stayed steady since the beginning of the year. As was the case in January and in February, currently one-third of Americans (33%) give President Obama positive ratings on his handling of the economy. In February, one in ten U.S. adults (9%) said the President was doing an excellent job while one-quarter (24%) said he was doing a pretty good job. This month, almost three in ten (28%) say he is doing a pretty good job while just 5% say he is doing an excellent job on his handling of the economy.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,379 adults surveyed online between March 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

One area where there is a bit of optimism is in when the economy will improve. One in five Americans (21%) say the economy has already started to grow while 7% say it will start to grow in the next six months and 15% say it will be in the next 6-12 months. Two in five Americans (39%) however say the economy will not grow for another year or longer while 19% say they are not at all sure. In June, just 14% said the economy was already growing and 43% said it would not happen for another year or longer.

The Job Market

Looking at the job market, it is hard to see much optimism. Two-thirds of Americans (65%) say the job market in their region of the country is bad, 22% say it is neither good nor bad and 13% say it is good. In February, three in five U.S. adults (61%) said the job market in their region was bad and 15% said it was good.  By region, just 7% of Westerners say the job market is good while 71% say it is bad, Southerners have a better outlook as 17% of them say the job market in their region is good while 63% say it is bad.

Looking ahead six months, half of Americans (52%) say the job market in their region will be same while one-third (32%) say it will be better and 16% think it will be worse. In February, half of U.S. adults (51%) said the job market would be the same in six months, 31% said it would be better and 18% believed it would be worse.

So What?

Thoughts on the economy seem to be holding steady. But, as the President struggles to turn his own polling numbers around, holding steady is not a good thing as attitudes remain poor. Americans do not think things in the U.S. are going in the right direction and the longer the economy and job market are seen as bad, these other feelings will not change. Add in a new military action, and Americans could become even more disillusioned than they are now.

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

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

47

49

46

43

39

40

34

36

     Excellent

13

13

10

3

9

7

6

6

     Pretty good

34

36

36

34

31

33

27

30

NEGATIVE (NET)

53

51

54

57

61

60

66

64

     Only fair

30

27

30

27

25

27

30

30

     Poor

23

24

24

30

36

33

37

34






2010

2011

Jan

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb*

March

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

31

30

33

33

33

     Excellent

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

7

9

5

     Pretty good

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

26

25

26

24

28

NEGATIVE (NET)

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

69

70

67

62

67

     Only fair

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

30

34

30

22

29

     Poor

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

39

36

37

39

38

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




TABLE 2

WHEN ECONOMY WILL GROW AGAIN - TREND

"When do you believe the economy will start growing again?"

Base:  All adults


2009

2010

2011

June

Dec

Jan

Mar

April

June

March

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Already has started growing

7

13

14

12

17

14

21

WITHIN NEXT SIX MONTHS (NET)

12

13

12

11

9

7

7

 Between now and 3 months from now

4

3

4

4

3

2

2

 Between 3 and 6 months from now

8

10

8

7

6

5

5

Between 6 and 12 months from now

28

21

22

19

17

18

15

Not for another year or longer

41

38

39

43

39

43

39

Not at all sure

13

15

14

17

18

18

19

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




TABLE 3

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

2011

Jan

Mar.

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

10

8

10

12

10

12

10

13

11

13

13

15

13

Neither good nor bad

20

18

21

20

25

22

21

21

23

24

22

24

22

BAD (NET)

70

73

70

68

66

66

69

66

66

63

65

61

65

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




TABLE 4

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

15

11

17

7

 Very good

2

3

2

2

*

 Somewhat good

11

12

9

15

7

Neither good nor bad

22

26

23

20

21

BAD (NET)

65

60

66

63

71

 Somewhat bad

37

36

40

36

34

 Very bad

28

24

26

27

37

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




TABLE 5

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


2009

2010

2011

Jan

April

June

August

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

March

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

15

23

21

28

26

23

21

23

30

25

31

31

32

 Will be much better

1

3

2

2

1

2

2

3

2

2

4

4

2

 Will be somewhat better

14

20

19

26

25

21

19

20

28

23

26

27

30

Will remain the same

36

42

47

47

53

49

53

53

50

54

51

51

52

WORSE (NET)

49

36

32

25

21

27

26

24

21

22

18

18

16

 Will be somewhat worse

36

29

24

19

15

22

20

18

15

16

13

13

11

 Will be much worse

14

7

8

6

6

5

6

6

6

6

6

5

6

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




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 7 to 14, 2011 among 2,379 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.

J39773

Q705, 715, 720, 725

The Harris Poll® #38, March 21, 2011

By Regina 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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