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Poll: Just 22 Percent Say Economy Getting Better

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.


The recession may technically be over, but most Americans aren't feeling the effects: A newly-released CBS News poll finds that just 22 percent of Americans say the economy is getting better.

A greater percentage - 27 percent - say the economy is actually getting worse, while one in two say it's staying the same.

Asked to compare their family's financial situation to two years ago, just 11 percent say things have gotten better. Forty-three percent, meanwhile, say they have gotten worse. Forty-five percent say there has been no change.

With the unemployment rate near 10 percent, four in five Americans say the economy is in bad shape, and only 19 percent describe the economy as good. Nearly two in three are at least somewhat concerned about someone in their household losing their job in the next year, including 35 percent who are very concerned.

The economy remains the overriding concern of most Americans: 54 percent volunteer it as the most important problem facing the country. Other issues were cited by a far smaller percentage of Americans, among them health care (7 percent), the deficit and debt (3 percent) and immigration (3 percent).

Read the Complete Poll

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,129 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone October 1-5, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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