During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, wealth inequality increased as aggregate wealth rose for the wealthiest 7% of households, but fell for the bottom 93%.
Young adults have shed substantially more debt than older adults did during the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath—mainly by virtue of owning fewer houses and cars and paring credit card balances.
With Washington making little apparent progress in efforts to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” most Americans are skeptical that the White House and Republicans will reach a deal. A majority would blame Republicans if talks fail.
The median income of American households decreased by as much in the two years after the official end of the Great Recession as it did during the recession itself. The current recovery is the worst for household income for any post-recession period in decades.
Americans do not rate their personal finances any better –or worse – than they did when Barack Obama took office nearly four years ago. And while income is a major factor in people’s views of their personal finances, so too is their partisan affiliation.
As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some – but by no means all – of its characteristic faith in the future.
The European debt crisis has attracted minimal interest or concern among the U.S. public, despite warnings from economists that Europe’s problems may threaten this country’s fragile recovery.
Hispanics and Asians are gaining jobs at a faster rate in the economic recovery than are blacks and whites, and immigrants are outpacing the native born. The disparities reflect the rapidly changing demographics of the U.S. workforce.
Large majorities of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are living at home with parents say they're satisfied with that arrangement and upbeat about their future finances.
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.