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Poll: Americans’ Worries About the Economy Have Risen to a Record High Since the Pandemic

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Posted: Nov 22, 2021 4:45 PM
Poll: Americans’ Worries About the Economy Have Risen to a Record High Since the Pandemic

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Since President Biden assumed office, issues pertaining to the economy, specifically, inflation and the supply chain, have worsened. As Spencer covered, this year’s Thanksgiving is 14 percent more expensive, the most expensive since 1986. And, a new poll published this week found that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, where stores were closed for months, Americans’ concerns about the economy have hit a record high.

A Gallup poll published Monday found that Americans’ concerns about the economy have reached a high point during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. In the survey, respondents were asked what issue facing the U.S. is the most important. Just over one-fourth, 26 percent, answered with an economic concern, such as inflation, unemployment, or the economy in general, as the top problem.

Historically, the highest point was in February 2009, when 86 percent of respondents believed that the economy was the nation’s utmost problem. Gallup’s write-up notes that “even in relatively good economic times in the past, it was common for more than 30% of Americans to name an economic issue” when the question was asked. Today’s numbers are the record high for the coronavirus pandemic, higher than they were when businesses were shut down for months of 2020.

The poll, conducted from Nov. 1 through Nov. 16, found that Republicans and Independents are almost equally likely to raise an economic concern as the nation’s top problem, at 30 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Democrats are less likely to do so, at 18 percent. 

The findings found that the most frequently mentioned specific economic issues are the economy in general (10 percent), inflation (7 percent) and unemployment (5 percent). No other economic issues, such as the federal budget deficit, income inequality, fuel prices, oil prices, etc., exceed 1 percent.

This year, in September and October, 6 percent of respondents said that the economy was the nation’s most important problem. The last time the percentage was in the double digits was in January 2017.

“It has been more than 20 years (April 2001) since inflation was named as the most important problem by at least 7% of Americans. The last time mentions of inflation were significantly higher than now was in May 1985 when it registered 11%,” Gallup’s write-up states. 

“Neither inflation nor the economy in general is the most frequently mentioned issue overall. In fact, more than twice as many Americans name the government (21%) as the top problem than name either of those two economic issues. More Americans also mention the coronavirus (13%) than the two top economic issues,” the write-up continues. “Other specific issues commonly mentioned as the most important problem in the new survey are immigration (9%), unifying the country (6%) and race relations or racism (5%).”

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