For the Public, a Tough Year Ends on a Down Note
Consistent with the mood of the nation all year, 2010 is closing on a down note — but not as low as in December 2008. Fully 72% are dissatisfied with national conditions, 89% rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and majorities or pluralities think the country is losing ground on nine of 12 major issues.
The Rise of College Student Borrowing
Graduates who received a bachelor’s degree in 2008 borrowed 50% more (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than their counterparts who graduated in 1996.
After the Great Recession: Foreign Born Gain Jobs; Native Born Lose Jobs
Immigrants are gaining jobs at a time when native-born workers continue to sustain losses. Foreign-born workers job gains may be the result of greater flexibility with regard to wages and hours of work or greater mobility. But despite rising employment, immigrants have experienced a sharp decline in earnings as well as a still substantial net loss in jobs.
The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap
In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are now slightly more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor’s degree to have married by the age of 30.
One Recession, Two Americas
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents
One child in 10 in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession. About 40% of all children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.
Lost Income, Lost Friends — and Loss of Self-Respect
A new Pew Research Center survey finds the long-term unemployed are more likely than the short-term unemployed not only to have lost income, but also to have lost contact with close friends, suffered strains in family relations and lost some self-respect and confidence in their long-term career prospects.
Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor
Partisan groups disagree sharply about many aspects of the government’s anti-recession policies — with two notable exceptions: Large majorities of independents, Republicans and Democrats all say large banks and financial institutions got the most help while few in each group say the policies have done much for the poor.
Public’s Wish List for Congress — Jobs and Deficit Reduction
Fully 80% say it is very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the job situation; nearly half of public disapproves of challenge to Arizona’s immigration law and health care legislation.