Most Americans believe the U.S. is in a recession and unemployment is at a 50-year high. They are wrong

We have often emphasized that polls are just a snapshot in time.

But what happens when the shutter is blurry and out of focus?

According to data, nearly three in five Americans wrongly believe that the United States is in an economic recession Harris poll conducted for the Guardian. The same poll concluded that Americans were to blame President Joe Biden for the current situation.

Poll results give pause.

  • 55% of respondents believe the economy is shrinking and 56% say the United States is in a recession. Fact. The broadest measure of the economy – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – grew by 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2023 and by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024.
  • About half (49%) think the S&P 500 stock index is falling this year. Fact. The S&P index is above 5300 and has increased by over 12% today, and a year ago it increased by 24%.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 (49%) of respondents believe unemployment is at a 50-year high. Fact. The U.S. unemployment rate is near a 50-year low of 3.9%.

The cause of these problems in the minds of Americans? Joe Biden.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said the U.S. economy was deteriorating because of his administration’s mismanagement.

Want more numbers?

Nearly three-quarters (72%) said inflation was rising, although the rate had fallen from a high of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.4% in April. The announcement sent the Dow Jones 30 index to a record high near 40,000.

Before you start arguing about the respondents being mostly supporters of the former president Donald Trump, while two-thirds of Republicans (67%) believe America is in a recession, the numbers are still high for independents (53%) and Democrats (49%). Four out of five Republicans say inflation is rising. That number narrowly outnumbers independents (74%), while three in five (61%) Democrats feel the same.

The problem in question may be laid at the feet of the media or those who consume their news.

Members of both parties – over 60% – agree that they do not know who to trust when it comes to learning about economics.

While the top news may seem bad for the current occupant of the White House, there were some dazzling lights in Harris’ poll.

Four in 10 Republicans said they believed “Bidenomics” would have a lasting positive impact – an 11 percentage point enhance since Harris’ last survey in September – while 81% of Democrats said the same. Three-quarters of respondents said they supported at least one of the key pillars of Biden’s economic plan, which includes investments in infrastructure, high-tech electronics manufacturing, pristine energy facilities and more union jobs.

“Americans are saying based on this data: ‘Economists may say things are getting better, but we don’t feel that way where I live,'” he said. Jan Gerzema, CEO of Harris Poll. “Undoing four years of uncertainty will take time. “Leaders need to understand this and engage the public.”

Robert Reichformer US Secretary of Labor, believes Americans have difficulty separating economic news from everything else, leading to the challenge facing the Biden administration – how to get their message across?

“The media thrives on conflicts. And Trump is nothing but conflict.” Reich wrote in an editorial for the Guardian. “He exaggerates, lies, exaggerates, takes credit, avoids blame, and demeans and condemns his opponents. So it gets a lot of airtime.

“Biden is working hard to get things done. But editors and publishers don’t find this particularly exciting. That’s why few people know what Biden is doing or has accomplished.”

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