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

Feelings on job market also move down, but not as much

Oct 29, 2013, 05:00 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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?

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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. (For complete findings, including data tables, click here)

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.

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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.

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.


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SOURCE Harris Interactive