More than 8 in 10 Americans believe the state of the US economy under President Biden is bleak — and many are concerned about their own finances amid soaring inflation rates, food and gas prices, according to a new poll.
The Wall Street Journal-NORC survey released Monday found that 83% of respondents described the national economy as “poor” or “not so good.”
More than a third who answered the survey — 35% — said they aren’t satisfied at all with their financial situation, marking the highest level of dissatisfaction in 50 years.
And the share of poll respondents who said their financial situation had gotten worse in the past few years was 38% — the highest since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.
The survey found that only around a quarter, or 27%, said they believe they have a good chance of improving their living standards, which represents a 20-point drop from last year’s poll results.
Meanwhile, 46% of Americans, or nearly half, said they don’t have a good chance of changing their standards of living for the better, even though the national unemployment rate is at a near-half-century low, plummeting to 3.6%.
Despite that, about 67% of poll participants acknowledged that it would be somewhat or very easy to find a new job.
Jennifer Benz, vice president of public affairs and media research at NORC, said America’s poor outlook on the economy is being driven by skyrocketing inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 8.3% in April.
The poll comes just days after President Biden said Americans are more “financially comfortable” and carry less debt since he was sworn into office.
In a speech in early May, Biden sought to reassure an increasingly grumbling public that he is “taking inflation very seriously” and has made it his “top domestic priority.”
The Democratic president blamed the high inflation rates on the COVID pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine, which he said has been causing prices at the pump and in grocery stores to rise dramatically across the US.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published last week, Biden outlined his plan to crack down on inflation by lowering the cost of household goods, slashing the national deficit and giving the Federal Reserve the authorly to rein in prices.