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Friday, December 31, 2010

What Kind Of Mood Are The American People In As We Enter 2011?

The American Dream

Around the end of the year a ton of polls and surveys get taken.  Media organizations love to get a "snapshot" of how the American people are feeling as the new year begins.  So what kind of mood are the American people in as we enter 2011?  Well, if the polls are to be believed, they are less optimistic, they are a bit scared, they are very frustrated and they are becoming increasingly angry.  A solid majority of Americans believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction and they desperately want someone to fix the economy.  What Americans seem to want most of all are good jobs.  At the end of the day, Americans want to be able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.  If they can't do that, then what is going on with other "important issues" really isn't going to seem very important to most of them.

So is it a good sign that for the week ending December 25th that claims for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time in a very, very long time?

Well, it turns out that claims for unemployment benefits decline every year right around the holidays and they decline every time a major winter storm hits much of the country.  Considering the fact that both of those things have happened recently means that we shouldn't be celebrating too much yet.  Let's see what happens after the holidays and when the weather gets a bit better.

The truth is that the official unemployment rate has been hovering just under 10 percent for the entire year and people are getting really tired of searching day after day for good jobs that don't seem to exist.

The following is a compilation of recent poll results that show just how frustrated and angry the American people are becoming as we enter 2011....

The American People Are Dissatisfied With The Economy
A recent Bloomberg National Poll found that two-thirds of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.  But most Americans felt we were going in the wrong direction under George W. Bush as well.  The truth is that the American people are going to continue to be frustrated with the "direction of the country" until the economy starts to show some sustained improvement.

So are things going to get better soon?

Well, one thing is for certain.  Americans are becoming less optimistic.

In a recent Pew Research survey only 55 percent of Americans said that the year ahead would be "better".  That was significantly down from 67 percent who believed that the year ahead would be "better" back last January.

According to that same Pew Research survey, a whopping 89% of Americans rate national economic conditions as "fair" or "poor", and 79% say that jobs are difficult to get in their local communities.

As noted earlier, that is the main thing that most Americans want.  Most Americans want to be able to work hard and provide for their families.  But for millions of Americans today that has not been a reality for a very long time.

So will more good jobs be created soon?

Well, a majority of new jobs in the United States are created by small businesses, and right now small business owners do not have a very positive view of the coming year at all.

A recent survey of small business owners found that 25 percent believe that the U.S. economy is getting better but 51 percent believe that it is getting worse.

Hopefully the economy will at least stabilize a bit in 2011, because if it doesn't, the poll numbers are going to look really ugly next year at this time.

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