The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, June 01, 2016, Page Page 2, Image 10

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Page 2 The Skanner CAREERS EDITION June 1, 2016
Poll: Americans More Upbeat About Own Finances Than Economy
— Americans are of two
minds about the econ-
omy in the midst of an
election race that largely
hinges on the issue. They
are strikingly pessimis-
tic about the national
economy yet compara-
tively upbeat about their
own inancial circum-
Just 42 percent of
adults describe the U.S.
economy as good, accord-
ing to a  survey  released
Wednesday by The As-
Center for Public Afairs
Research. But two-thirds
say their own households
are faring well.
The divide suggests
that despite their own
inancial gains, many
people worry about risks
beyond their control
— from a volatile stock
market to another eco-
nomic downturn. Just a
third say they’d be very
conident of inding an-
other job if they were
laid-of — a sign of vul-
nerability even though
the Great Recession oi-
cially ended nearly seven
Associated Press
In this March 4, 2016, ile photo, cranes move loads of materials at
dusk at the Hudson Yards construction site in New York. Construction
is rebounding across the United States, yet only 42 percent of adults
describe the U.S. economy as good, according to a survey released
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, by The Associated Press. But nearly two-
thirds say their own households are faring well. That divide relects a
country sharply split by political ailiation and education level in the
midst of an intensely negative presidential race.
years ago.
Some of the diference
also relects political
views and education lev-
els: Republicans are far
more negative about the
economy as President
Barack Obama inishes
his second term. And col-
lege graduates are more
sanguine about a recov-
ery that rewarded them
while largely neglecting
workers without college
The nation’s unemploy-
ment rate has reached a
healthy 5 percent, and
workers’ pay shows ten-
tative signs of accelerat-
ing ater years of barely
budging. Auto sales hit
a record in April. Hous-
ing and construction are
rebounding. Americans
are treating themselves
But for every gauge of
the economy that’s point-
ing up, another has be-
come cause for unease.
Hospitals have become
dominant  employers  in
most cities, yet health
care costs are outpacing
pay. Foreign imports
have kept clothing and
home appliance prices
afordable. But those low-
priced imports have cost
U.S. jobs that in many cas-
es haven’t been replaced.
Across the country, the
low-educated are strug-
And nothing has ignit-
ed the robust economic
growth that Americans
remember enjoying un-
til the Great Recession
struck in late 2007. The
United States has en-
dured a dreary recovery
from the worst down-
turn since the Great De-
pression. Just 23 percent
of Americans say they
think the economy will
improve this year.
Some view the slow
growth as a sign that the
economy has never es-
caped the threat of anoth-
er downturn. For years,
they have seen the polit-
ical class feud over how
to accelerate economic
growth and extend more
opportunities to people
who have been let out,
with little to show for it.
“It’s just real shaky
right now,” said Dorothy
Mszanski, 60, a former
steelworker who had to
retire on disability. “It’s
like nobody can igure
out what to do.”
Mszanski sees her fami-
ly’s situation as relative-
ly stable. Her husband
works an auto body and
paint shop. The couple
has built up retirement
savings ater years of
work and raised three
Mszanski fears econom-
ic risks that could upend
their lives.
A stock market crash
would deplete her hus-
band’s 401(k) account.
Her medical bills could
keep soaring to impossi-
ble heights, a challenge
she is already straining
to handle.
“I’ve had chronic back
pain, and I’m a diabetic
and I’m on oxygen 24-7,”
she said. “If my medi-
cation keeps going up,
there will be a time that I
won’t be able to aford to
eat or buy my medicine.
So what are you going to
That anxiety remains
rooted in many commu-
nities even as Ameri-
cans see some economic
gains. The more than 40
percent who describe the
economy as good com-
pare with just 26 percent
who said so in an October
2013 AP-GfK survey.
Doubts about the econ-
omy lie at the heart of
the split over which
presidential candidate is
best equipped to lead the
country: Donald Trump,
the real estate mogul
whose aggressive eco-
nomic nationalism has
made him the presump-
tive Republican nominee,
or Hillary Clinton, the
Democratic front-run-
ner who has campaigned
as a get-things-done poli-
Sentiments about the
economy tend to paral-
lel Americans’ political
views. With a Democrat
having occupied the
White House for seven
years, Republicans with
a dislike for Obama’s
policies tend to express
discontent with the econ-
Just 34 percent of Re-
publicans call the nation-
al economy good, com-
pared with 54 percent of
Thirty-eight percent of
Republican supporters
say they expect the econ-
omy to deteriorate this
year, versus 18 percent of