Young, Democrats Feel Most Financially Secure

February 9, 2011

harris-financial-security-feb-2011.JPGEcho Boomers (age 18-34) and registered Democrats were most likely to say they felt financially secure in January 2011 compared to January 2010, according to results of a new Harris Poll. While only 23% of US adults overall reported feeling more financially secure than one year earlier, that figure rose to 33% among Echo Boomers and 37% among Democrats.

In contrast, only 11% of Republicans and 18% of Generation X (age 35-46) said they were feeling more financially secure than one year earlier. While 38% of US adults felt less financially secure, this figure was 56% among Republicans and 47% among Matures (66 and older).

Future Expectations Match Current Perceptions

harris-financial-expectations-feb-2011.JPGNot surprisingly, Echo Boomers (39%) and Democrats (40%) also expected their personal financial situation to be better in six months at a rate well beyond the overall average (27%). Republicans (16%) and Matures (17%) were the least likely to say their financial situation will improve in the near term.

Meanwhile, an overall 27% of respondents also said they expect their financial situation to be worse in six months, with Republicans (42%) and Matures (39%) having the highest rates of near term financial pessimism.

Forty-six percent of all respondents expect their financial situation to be the same in six months. No demographic group fell significantly below this percentage, while a high of 53% of Generation X expressed this opinion.

East Most Optimistic about Current Job Market

harris-job-market-feb-2011.JPGOverall, only 13% of respondents said the current job market in their region is good. This percentage was highest among respondents in the East (18%) and lowest in the Midwest (9%).

Meanwhile, 65% of all respondents said the current regional job market is bad. Midwesterners were most likely to say this (72%), while residents of the East and South were least likely (61% of each region).

1 in 3 See Better Job Market in 6 Months

harris-job-market-6-months-feb-2011.JPGOverall, close to one-third of all respondents (31%) think the job market in their region will be better in six months. That is more than a 20% improvement on 25% saying so in December 2010 and the highest rating since January 2009, when only 15% of respondents expressed this opinion.

In addition, 51% of respondents expect the job market to stay the same in six months, meaning only 18% expect a near term decline in employment opportunities.

Gallup: Economic Optimism Ties 3-Yr High

Forty-one percent of Americans in January 2011 said the economy is “getting better,” up 17% from 35% in December 2010 and about 8% from 38% a year ago, according to results of a new Gallup Poll. This level of optimism ties for the highest since Gallup daily tracking began in January 2008.

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 17 to 24, 2011 among 2,566 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.

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