Economics

As part of its public opinion research, the Pew Research Center surveys attitudes on issues involving the economy, labor, personal finance and consumer behavior. The center collects data through several methods, including public opinion polling, online surveys and empirical studies.

Economic subjects studied have included: the federal deficit; online banking; Americans’ savings habits; the changing status of many consumer products from luxuries to necessities; and the politics of free trade.

The data aid journalists, academics, economic analysts and others in finding out more about how Americans perceive economic issues in general and, at the consumer level, how they approach issues directly affecting their pocketbooks.

The Pew Research Center does not take positions on policy debates. It is a nonpartisan “fact tank” and subsidiary of Pew based in Washington, D.C.

For more information about its public opinion research on economic issues, visit the Pew Research Center Web site.

Report

  • Long-term Unemployment Remains High

    Jan 06, 2014 - Nearly 10.3 million Americans were unemployed in November, and almost 4 million of them, or 38.8% of all unemployed, have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

  • Doubts About US Economy Persist

    Sep 12, 2013 - Five years after the U.S. economy faced its most serious crisis since the Great Depression, a majority of Americans (63%) say the nation’s economic system is no more secure today than it was before the 2008 market crash. Just a third (33%) think the system is more secure now than it was then.

  • Broad Concern about 'Fiscal Cliff' Consequences

    Nov 13, 2012 - Pew Research reports the public is skeptical that President Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement by the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff. About half say the two sides will not reach an agreement, while just 38% say they will.

  • Public Perceptions of Economic News Remains Steady: A Mixed Picture

    Aug 07, 2012 - According to a new report from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, perceptions of economic news remains relatively unchanged since July. Today, half (53%) of Americans say they are hearing a mix of bad and good news about the economy, while 41% say they hear mostly bad news and 3% say they are hearing mostly good news.

  • Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness

    Jul 17, 2012 - By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.

  • Pervasive Gloom About the World Economy

    Jul 12, 2012 - The economic mood is exceedingly glum all around the world. A median of just 27 percent think their national economy is doing well, according to a survey in 21 countries. Those in emerging markets are more upbeat than those in the European Union and the U.S. The global economic crisis also has eroded support for capitalism.

  • Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma

    Jun 14, 2012 - Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut says there has never been an issue such as the deficit on which there has been such a consensus among the public about its importance --and such a lack of agreement about acceptable solutions.

  • Perceptions of Economic News Turn More Negative

    Jun 05, 2012 - The public’s perceptions of economic news have taken a turn for the worse. That could be bad news for Barack Obama, who held a lead over Mitt Romney in polling conducted mostly before last week’s disappointing jobs report and stock market slide.

  • Public Sees Gas Prices Down A Little Across Much of Nation

    May 31, 2012 - About half of Americans say the price of gasoline has gone down over the past month. Those in West Coast states, however, are much more likely to see gasoline prices going up, which is consistent with a rise in prices at the pump in that region.

  • European Unity on the Rocks

    May 29, 2012 - What started out as a European debt crisis has now become a full-blown crisis of public confidence in the European economy, membership in the European Union, the euro, and the free market system, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Greeks and Germans are at polar opposites in support for an integrated Europe.

  • College Graduation: Weighing the Cost, and the Payoff

    May 17, 2012 - The issue of costs and rising student debt have touched off a national debate about the cost and value of a college education. See the results of our surveys on what the public thinks of investing in a college education.

  • As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Oil and Gas Production Grows

    Mar 19, 2012 - As gas prices rise, the public's energy priorities are showing signs of change. More Americans continue to see development of alternative energy sources as a higher priority than increased production of oil, coal and natural gas, but the gap has narrowed since a year ago. Support for allowing more offshore oil drilling, which plummeted during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, are back at pre-spill levels.

  • Public Spreads Blame for Rising Gas Prices

    Mar 01, 2012 - While 18% of Americans say President Obama or his administration are most to blame for the surge in gasoline prices, about as many (14%) volunteer the oil companies or domestic oil producers. Roughly one-in-ten (11%) mostly blame Iran, the upheaval in the Middle East or the threat of war in the region.

  • Colleges Viewed Positively, But Conservatives Express Doubts

    Mar 01, 2012 - Most Americans generally think that colleges and universities have a positive impact on the country and a large majority of graduates say a higher education was worth the investment. However, conservative Republicans -- especially supporters of the Tea Party -- are more skeptical of whether colleges have a positive effect.

  • Auto Bailout Now Backed, Stimulus Divisive

    Feb 23, 2012 - According to a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, public support for government loans to major U.S. automakers has increased sharply since 2009. But opinions are far less positive about two other major initiatives to bolster the economy - the 2008 bank bailout and the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan.

  • Public More Optimistic about Economy, But Concerns Persist

    Feb 16, 2012 - A new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that optimism about the national economy, which sagged in 2011, has rebounded in the first two months of this year. However, the public's improved economic outlook is tempered by the fact that current views of the economy remain negative and that economic optimism has proven fragile in the past.

  • Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping

    Jan 23, 2012 - As the State of the Union approaches, more than eight-in-ten Americans say strengthening the economy and improving the job situation should be the top priorities. Although fewer Americans put reducing the federal budget deficit at the top of their lists, it is the fastest growing policy priority, largely because of growing concerns among Republicans. Fighting terrorism is given less priority today than over the course of the past decade.

  • Rising Share of Americans See Conflict Between Rich and Poor

    Jan 11, 2012 - The Occupy Wall Street movement no longer occupies Wall Street, but the issue of class conflict has captured a growing share of the national consciousness. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that two-thirds of the public believes there are "very strong" or "strong" conflicts between the rich and the poor -- an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009.

  • Tax System Seen as Unfair, in Need of Overhaul

    Dec 20, 2011 - Public dissatisfaction with the tax system has grown over the past decade. The public's frustration is not how much they themselves pay, but rather the impression that wealthy people are not paying their fair share. A majority of Americans say that so much is wrong with the tax system that Congress should completely change it.

  • Cohabiting Couples and Their Money

    Nov 22, 2011 - The Census Bureau's new alternative measure of poverty assumes that cohabiting couples pool funds and share expenses just as married couples do instead of counting people who live together as separate individuals. The result: A lower share of cohabiting couples is considered poor under the alternative metric than under the official measure.

  • Public Divided Over Occupy Wall Street Movement

    Oct 24, 2011 - About four-in-ten Americans say they support the Occupy Wall Street movement (39%), while nearly as many (35%) say they oppose the movement launched last month in New York’s financial district.

  • In a Down Economy, Fewer Births

    Oct 12, 2011 - A sharp decline in fertility rates in the United States that started in 2008 is closely linked to the souring of the economy that began about the same time, according to a new analysis of multiple economic and demographic data sources by the Pew Research Center.

  • Fighting Poverty in a Bad Economy, Americans Move in with Relatives

    Oct 03, 2011 - According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of 2009 Census Bureau data, large numbers of Americans enacted their own anti-poverty program in the depths of the Great Recession: They moved in with relatives. Living in multi-generational households appears to be a financial lifeline for many, and although their adjusted incomes overall are lower, the poverty rate among people living in multi-generational households is substantially smaller than for those in other households—11.5% vs. 14.6%.

  • No Consensus About Whether Nation Is Divided Into 'Haves' and 'Have-Nots'

    Sep 29, 2011 - The public is divided on the question of whether the U.S. has become a society of economic 'haves' and 'have-nots," with 52% saying it is incorrect to think of the country this way while 45% say such a division exists.

  • Few See Job Proposals Having Much Effect

    Sep 07, 2011 - Nearly twice as many Americans cite the job situation over the federal budget deficit as the economic issue that worries them the most. But as President Obama readies a job package to propose to Congress, there is less clarity in the public’s views about ideas to address the job creation.

  • Public Not Pleased with Budget Negotiations

    Aug 01, 2011 - The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that the budget negotiations of recent weeks are most frequently summed up in words such as ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating. Nationwide, these critical views cross partisan and ideological lines, with 75% of Republicans, 72% of Democrats and 72% of independents all describing the negotiations in negative terms.

  • Public Wants a Debt Ceiling Compromise, Expects a Deal Before Deadline

    Jul 26, 2011 - The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff, with 68% saying they want lawmakers to reach a deal even if they disagree with it. A majority of Republicans who identify with the tea party say their representatives should stick to their principles.

  • Public Split Evenly on Urgency of Debt Limit Debate

    Jul 18, 2011 - Most Republicans say that it will not be a major problem if the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, while the balance of opinion is the reverse among Democrats.

  • Obama Draws More Confidence than Boehner, McConnell or Cantor on Debt Ceiling

    Jul 18, 2011 - Americans have more confidence in the president than congressional leaders to do the right thing, but only about of half of the public holds that opinion.

  • Public Now Divided on Debt Limit Debate

    Jul 11, 2011 - A national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that the American public has grown more concerned that failing to raise the debt limit would force the government into default and hurt the economy. Despite this change, however, about as many Americans are concerned by the consequences of raising the nation’s debt limit as by the fallout from not doing so.

  • Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits

    Jul 07, 2011 - The public sees the need for changes to improve the performance and finances of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid but does not support reductions in benefits. Republicans have divisions in their ranks.

  • Two Years of Economic Recovery: Women Lose Jobs, Men Find Them

    Jul 06, 2011 - During the current recovery, men have gained 768,000 jobs while women have lost 218,000 jobs. This gender gap represents a sharp turnabout from the recession, when men lost more than twice as many jobs as women.

  • Pessimism About National Economy Rises, Personal Financial Views Hold Steady

    Jun 23, 2011 - Opinions about the state of the economy remain grim, and President Obama has lost his post-bin Laden bump in approval. Still, people's assessments of their personal financial situations have little changed.

  • More Say GOP Would Be Mainly Responsible If No Increase In Debt Limit

    Jun 20, 2011 - Partisans express strong opinions about which side would be most responsible if no agreement is reached before federal borrowing hits the debt limit.

  • More Blame Wars than Domestic Spending or Tax Cuts for Nation's Debt

    Jun 07, 2011 - Public concern about the budget deficit has increased since the end of last year, but there is widespread opposition to a number of proposals aimed at reducing it.

  • Obama Bump Recedes a Bit

    May 09, 2011 - Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen slightly since the day after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. But the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in early April.

  • Why Are Gas Prices Rising? A Mix of Reasons

    May 05, 2011 -  As gas prices soar, many Americans pin the blame on greed or a push for higher profits among oil companies, speculators and oil-producing nations.

  • Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

    May 04, 2011 - The Pew Research Center’s new Political Typology finds that the public is more doctrinaire at each end of the ideological spectrum, yet more diverse in the middle than it has been in the past.

  • Deficit: More Concern, Less Optimism

    Apr 26, 2011 - The public increasingly views the federal budget deficit as a major problem the country must address now. But fewer predict the country will achieve significant progress in reducing the deficit in five years than did so in December.

  • The Deficit Debate – Where the Public Stands

    Apr 12, 2011 - With President Obama set to address the nation about the federal deficit, Pew Research surveys provide a look at at how serious Americans consider the problem, their views of competing proposals, and their confidence in policymakers.

  • Budget Negotiations in a Word: 'Ridiculous'

    Apr 11, 2011 -  A weekend survey finds that "ridiculous" is the word used most frequently by the public to describe the budget negotiations.

  • Opposition to Nuclear Power Rises Amid Japanese Crisis

    Mar 21, 2011 - In the wake of the crisis in Japan, support for increased use of nuclear power has declined while the surge in gas prices has boosted support for offshore oil and gas drilling.

  • Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama's Not Gaining

    Mar 16, 2011 - Far fewer Americans now say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November with the GOP losing ground among political independents and key elements of its base, including Tea Party supporters. But the public is no more supportive of Barack Obama's approach to the budget deficit than before.

  • Fewer Want Spending to Grow, But Most Cuts Remain Unpopular

    Feb 10, 2011 - Views about federal spending are beginning to change. Americans no longer call for more spending on many popular programs. Still, support for cutting spending remains limited, though in a few cases it has risen noticeably.

  • Strengthen Ties with China, But Get Tough on Trade

    Jan 13, 2011 - A Pew Research Center report found that Americans increasingly see Asia, rather than Europe, as the region most important to U.S. interests -- an economic challenge but not a military adversary.

  • The Public and the Deficit: Consensus in Principle, Resistance in Practice

    Dec 09, 2010 - The latest Pew Research Center survey finds that while there is broad public consensus about the federal budget deficit (seven-in-ten say it is a major problem that must be addressed right away), that consensus evaporates when concrete deficit reduction proposals are tested.

  • How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America

    Jul 23, 2010 - Of the 13 recessions that the American public has endured since the Great Depression of 1929-33, none has presented a more punishing combination of length, breadth and depth than this one, according to a report from the Pew Research Center .

  • Lost Income, Lost Friends - and Loss of Self- respect

    Jul 22, 2010 -  Long-term unemployment takes a much deeper toll than short-term unemployment on a person’s finances, emotional well-being and career prospects, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that explores the attitudes and experiences of workers who have lost jobs during the Great Recession.

  • Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor

    Jul 19, 2010 - The public sees clear winners and losers from the economic policies the government has implemented since the recession of 2008. Most Americans say these policies have helped large banks, large corporations and the wealthy, while providing little or no help for the poor, the middle class or small businesses.

  • The Great Recession at 30 Months

    Jun 30, 2010 - More than half of all adults in the labor force say that since the Great Recession began 30 months ago, they have suffered a spell of unemployment, a reduction in pay or hours or have become involuntary part-time workers, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends Project.

  • Public Rejects Variety Of Options For Fixing State Budgets

    Jun 28, 2010 -  Most Americans see the deteriorating budget situations in many states as a problem that the states themselves – rather than the federal government – should solve. But when it comes to specific proposals to balance state budgets, there is more opposition than support for each option asked about – particularly cuts in funding for education and public safety programs

  • Public Uncertain About How to Improve Job Situation

    Jun 21, 2010 -  There is broad public agreement that past government policies intended to address the financial crisis and recession have not worked. At the same time, there is very little agreement about what the government should do now to deal with the nation’s biggest economic concern – the job situation.

  • Pessimistic Public Doubts Effectiveness of Stimulus, TARP

    Apr 28, 2010 - As has been the case for two years, about nine-in-ten rate economic conditions as only fair or poor. As a political consequence, the Democrats have lost ground to the GOP on a wide range of issues, including the job situation.

  • Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor

    Apr 19, 2010 - By almost every measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government today. A new series of Pew Research Center surveys provides a detailed picture of the public's opinions about government.

  • Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama

    Mar 18, 2010 - As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their community.

  • The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household

    Mar 18, 2010 - The multi-generational American family household is staging a comeback — driven in part by the job losses and home foreclosures of recent years, but more so by demographic changes that have been gathering steam for decades, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

  • Deficit Concerns Rise, But Solutions Are Elusive

    Mar 10, 2010 - While an increasing number of Americans cite addressing the government's debt as a priority, there is not much support for curtailing government spending in either party, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

  • Favorability Ratings of Labor Unions Fall Sharply

    Feb 23, 2010 - A nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that favorable opinions of unions have fallen across demographic and partisan groups. Still, far more Democrats have favorable views of unions (56%) than do independents (38%) or Republicans (29%).

  • Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties

    Feb 12, 2010 - According to the latest nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, anti-incumbent sentiment runs high. GOP ratings are up but far more blame Republicans for the poor economy than Democrats. President Obama's ratings are flat, and Wall Street's are abysmal.

  • It's All About Jobs, Except When It's Not: Unemployment and Presidential Approval Ratings 1981-2009

    Jan 26, 2010 - A look at the connection between the rise and fall of joblessness and the political fortunes of past presidents in the modern era is instructive although the lessons to be drawn are far from crystal clear. Thus far, only Ronald Reagan’s ratings in his first term have borne as close a connection as have Obama’s to changes in the unemployment rate.

  • The Public's Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism

    Jan 25, 2010 - A stronger economy and improved job situation remain nation's top priorities, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. But strong shifts have occurred on energy (down) and the budget deficit (up). Huge partisan gaps exist on health care reform and global warming.

  • New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives

    Jan 19, 2010 - A larger share of women today, compared with their 1970 counterparts, have more education and income than their spouses. As a result, in recent decades the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men than for women, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

  • At Year's End, Nation Remains Divided

    Dec 16, 2009 - The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds roughly half the country now approves of President Obama's performance. The nation is also divided on Afghanistan and health care. One rare point of agreement: the economy remains poor.

  • Battle of the Budget Bulge

    Nov 12, 2009 - Americans are famous both for being weight conscious, and at the same time unable to come to terms successfully with bloated waistlines. The same paradox has applied to how the public sees deficits for a long time.

  • A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment

    Nov 11, 2009 - The mood of America is glum. Most are dissatisfied with the state of the nation, economic conditions, personal finances and an increasing number say the war in Afghanistan is not going well, according to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Still, a majority continues to approve of Obama's job as president.

  • What Does the Public Know?

    Oct 14, 2009 - There is a lot to keep up with in the news right now. The Pew Research Center's latest News IQ Quiz finds that many Americans know key facts about health care and the economy, but questions about Afghanistan and environmental legislation in Congress stump the public. Before reading the report, see how much you know by taking the quiz.  

  • Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist

    Oct 08, 2009 - Public opinion is conflicted regarding the two major domestic issues of the day – the economy and health care reform. On the economy, most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help, but the public expresses mixed views of the steps he has taken so far and sees no clear signs of recovery at this point.

  • Covering the Great Recession

    Oct 05, 2009 - The economic downturn has made headlines for months. How has the press covered the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression? What elements of the economic story make the most news? Who is driving the coverage? The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism addresses these questions and more in a new report on press coverage of the economy.

  • Take this Job and Love It: Job Satisfaction Highest Among the Self-Employed

    Sep 17, 2009 - The self-employed are far more likely to like their jobs and work because they want to. But if you strike out on your own, don't count on financial security.

  • Recession Turns a Graying Office Grayer

    Sep 03, 2009 - A new survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project finds that older adults are staying in the labor force longer, and younger adults are staying out of it longer. This trend intensified with the recession, but it should continue after the economy recovers. One reason, older workers value not just a paycheck, but the psychic and social rewards.

  • Public Souring on Washington

    Aug 19, 2009 - More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama's approval inches lower and the Democratic Party's favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

  • Wilted Green Shoots

    Jul 08, 2009 - The number of Americans hearing mostly negative economic news has been steadily rising since May, especially among independents.

  • Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit

    Jun 24, 2009 - How the question is phrased has a clear impact on whether the public rates deficit reduction or stimulus spending more important.

  • Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

    Jun 19, 2009 - Americans are increasingly upbeat about the economy and their own finances but that hasn't prompted them to open their wallets, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

  • Obama's Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

    Jun 18, 2009 - A solid majority continues to approve of the president's performance, but they express mixed views of several of his policies. Only about one-in-five Americans (21%) say the U.S. is less safe from terrorism under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration.

  • Cockeyed Optimists or Self-Fulfilling Prophets?

    Jun 17, 2009 - Even while their personal worries have deepened, Americans have been feeling more upbeat about the national economy's prospects and less concerned about rising inequality. What underlies this trend and can it be sustained?

  • Generation Next Squeezed By Recession, But Most See Better Times Ahead

    Jun 05, 2009 - Younger Americans are more liberal in views of government and traditional values than older generations. A new Pew Research Center analysis also finds evidence of increased political engagement in the aftermath of the election.

  • Most Middle-Aged Adults Are Rethinking Retirement Plans

    May 28, 2009 - In the midst of a recession that has taken a heavy toll on many nest eggs, just over half of all working adults ages 50 to 64 say they may delay their retirement—and another 16% say they never expect to stop working.

  • Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era

    May 21, 2009 - Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while an increasing number of Americans identify as independents. The Pew Research Center's long-term values study tracks beliefs and attitudes—on government, business, race, religion and more—shaping public opinion and influencing voting behavior.

  • Not Your Grandfather's Recession—Literally

    May 14, 2009 - The ongoing recession has had different impacts on different age groups. Adults 65 and older have escaped its full fury. Adults in late middle age (50 to 64) have seen their nest eggs shrink the most and their anxieties about retirement swell the most. Younger adults (ages 18-49) have taken the worst lumps in the job market but remain relatively upbeat about their financial future, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project.

  • Support for Free Trade Recovers Despite Recession

    Apr 28, 2009 - Support for trade agreements is up nine points—from 35% to 44%—putting positive views of trade back in line with long-term trends. Americans in low-income families and Democrats are much more supportive of trade this year.

  • Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn

    Apr 23, 2009 - From the kitchen to the laundry room to the home entertainment center, Americans are paring down the list of familiar household appliances they say they can't live without, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project.

  • Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings

    Apr 23, 2009 - As he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are higher than those of his most recent predecessors. However, the 44th president is even more distinguished by his strong personal popularity.

  • Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public

    Apr 08, 2009 - A majority of Americans (53%) currently says that Republicans and Democrats have been bickering and opposing each more than usual, while just a quarter (25%) say the two sides have been working together more. The biggest partisan gap over budget priorities is with respect to health care.

  • Public Knows Basic Facts About Financial Crisis

    Apr 02, 2009 - The Pew Research Center's new test of current-events knowledge finds more know the unemployment rate than the Dow Jones average. How much do you know?

  • The Phantom Recovery

    Mar 26, 2009 - A new Pew Research Center report finds that for the typical American household, the Great Recession that began more than a year ago came on the heels of a less dramatic but equally unusual economic phenomenon: a Phantom Recovery.

  • Obama’s Approval Rating Slips Amid Division Over Economic Proposals

    Mar 16, 2009 - Most people think the new president is doing as much as he can to fix the economy, but the public expresses mixed views of his many major proposals to fix the economy. The public overwhelmingly supports Obama's plan to remove most combat troops from Iraq by the end of August but a much narrower majority supports his planned troop buildup in Afghanistan.

  • Eastern Europe: A Crisis of Confidence in Capitalism?

    Mar 05, 2009 - According to a new commentary from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, the economic crisis could have troubling implications for public opinion in the former Eastern Bloc, where support for capitalism still remained weaker than in Western Europe and most other regions of the world.

  • One-In-Five Homeowners Feel “Underwater” On Mortgages

    Feb 19, 2009 - The young, the less affluent and members of minority groups are more likely to say their homes are worth less than what they owe on their mortgages, according to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

  • No Place Like Home -- Even if the Value Is in the Tank

    Feb 19, 2009 - Not even a housing-led recession can shake Americans' faith in the blessings of homeownership.

  • News Interest Index: Most Feel a Personal Stake in Tracking Economic News

    Feb 19, 2009 - Americans feel better knowing what's going on, but more now see some good sides to news about the economy.

  • Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies

    Feb 18, 2009 - Americans approve of Obama's handling of terrorist threats by more than two-to-one but views about Guantanamo, torture and surveillance remain divided along familiar lines.

  • As Jobs Crisis Spreads, Worries Climb the Economic Ladder

    Feb 12, 2009 - The proportion of the public citing jobs or unemployment as the nation's most important economic problem has more than quadrupled since early October and concern about job loss has climbed steeply among more affluent Americans, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

  • Support for Stimulus Plan Slips, But Obama Rides High

    Feb 09, 2009 - After weeks of intense debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a narrow majority of Americans who have heard about the $800 billion plan say it is a good idea, while 34% say it is a bad idea.

  • Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009

    Jan 22, 2009 - While it is not unusual for Americans to prioritize domestic over foreign policy, a new Pew Research Center survey finds strengthening the economy and improving the job situation are higher priorities today than at any point over the past decade, and the recent upward trend has been steep.

  • Gains Seen On Minority Discrimination - But Little Else

    Jan 07, 2009 - As Barack Obama prepares to take office, majorities say the country is losing ground on any number of key issues, particularly economic ones.

  • States of the Union Before and After Bush

    Jan 05, 2009 - What a difference eight years can make -- or not. As shown in this report from the Pew Research Center, some things have changed a great deal since George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, but other things, most notably certain American beliefs and attitudes, have remained remarkably constant.

  • What a Year! People-Press Poll Reports in 2008

    Dec 16, 2008 - Findings from Pew Research Center polls over the year told the story of the longest -- and one of the most exciting -- presidential elections in U.S. history as well as recording the public's reactions to other major events ranging from the pope's visit, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the onset of a mega-economic downturn.

  • Bearish Outlook Fuels Consumer Cutbacks

    Dec 11, 2008 - Nearly six-in-ten who say they are cutting back or delaying purchases report they are doing so because they worry things might get worse, according to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Fewer than one in four say they are cutting back because their own financial situation has worsened. Lower fuel and food costs do not appear to have had a positive impact on the public so far.

  • Public Not Desperate About Economy or Personal Finances

    Oct 15, 2008 - Americans are concerned about the nation’s economic problems and they register the lowest level of national satisfaction ever measured in a Pew Research Center survey. But there is little indication that the nation’s financial crisis has triggered public panic or despair.

  • Economic Bailout: Public Remains Closely Divided Overall, but Partisan Support Shifts

    Oct 06, 2008 - The relative stability in the overall numbers obscures considerable movement in public opinion about the package recently passed by Congress.

  • The Bad Rap on the Bailout Bill

    Oct 01, 2008 - Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut writes that the American public is taking a bad rap for Congress's failure to pass the bailout bill.

  • News Interest Index: Interest in Economic News Surges

    Oct 01, 2008 - According to the Pew Research Center, interest in news about the U.S. economy skyrocketed last week, with 70% of Americans following economic developments very closely, up from 56% the previous week.

  • Small Plurality Backs Bailout Plan

    Sep 30, 2008 - A Pew Research Center survey finds a narrow 45%-38% plurality of the public saying that a government plan to invest or commit billions of dollars to secure financial institutions is the right thing to do. This represents considerably less support than the plan engendered immediately after it was first proposed.

  • 57 Percent of Public Favors Wall Street Bailout

    Sep 23, 2008 - With public interest in the economy at a 20-year high, by a margin of almost two-to-one Americans think the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

  • Tracking the Economic Slowdown

    Aug 18, 2008 - According to a new study of media content by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, the slowing economy has replaced Iraq as the second most intensely covered story so far in 2008. However, it still trails far behind the presidential campaign.

  • Soaring Prices Stagger Public but Most See the Economy as Fixable

    Jul 31, 2008 - Beyond widespread anxiety about energy costs, a growing number of Americans say it is difficult for them to afford food. Yet according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, most are confident that even in an era of global economic interdependence the federal government is capable of fixing the economy.

  • Gas Prices Pump Up Support for Drilling

    Jul 01, 2008 - The Pew Research Center finds that Americans are giving higher priority to more energy exploration, rather than more conservation; and concern about the environment fades as support for ANWR drilling rises.

  • News Interest Index: Gas Prices Pump Up Economic Interest

    Jun 19, 2008 - As economic news continues to register at an almost record level with the public, no other issue gets close to the level of attention accorded the price of oil and gas. The Pew Research Center finds that 72% of Americans say it is the economic or fiscal problem they’ve heard the most about.

  • Feeling Guilty: Americans Say They Aren't Saving Enough

    May 14, 2008 - A new survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project finds that most Americans at every income level and in every demographic group worry they aren't putting enough aside for the future -- but they're apparently not worried enough to do much about it.

  • Obama's Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

    May 01, 2008 - The Pew Research Center finds Barack Obama's slipping support for the Democratic nomination reflects a modest decline in his personal image rather than improved impressions of Hillary Clinton. Both retain advantage over McCain as economy tops the public's concerns.

  • Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life

    Apr 09, 2008 - This report on the attitudes and lives of the American middle class combines results of a new Pew Research Center national public opinion survey with the center's analysis of relevant economic and demographic trend data from the Census Bureau.

  • Dismal Views of the National Economy

    Mar 27, 2008 - The Pew Research Center finds that public satisfaction with the state of the nation is about as low as it has been in 20 years of Pew polling. However, deepening concern about the national economy has not translated into more dour assessments of personal finances so far.

  • Economic Discontent Deepens as Inflation Concerns Rise

    Feb 14, 2008 - Poll finds that public views of the U.S. economy, already quite negative, have plummeted since January. And the public’s sour view of the economy is now extending to people’s views of their own finances. Rising prices – for gasoline or energy, healthcare, or overall inflation – are mentioned most frequently as the nation’s biggest economic problem.

  • An Even More Partisan Agenda for 2008

    Jan 24, 2008 - The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds signs of considerable unease with the nation's economy. While opinions about the economy have not declined since fall, they are the most negative economic ratings at the beginning of any presidential year since 1992.

  • Emerging Priorities for 2006 – Energy, Crime and Environment

    Jan 25, 2006 - Results of a 2006 public opinion poll on the economy, national priorities and President Bush's State of the Union address.

  • Commentary on Social Security Polling: Cross Currents in Opinion About Private Accounts

    Jan 28, 2005 - Poll finds that public opinion on Social Security proposals in circulation appears to be flexible.

  • In Good Company (Fall 2004 Trust Magazine article)

    Oct 01, 2004 -  A new subsidiary — the Pew Research Center — is one change following Pew's governing transformation. The components of this organization, however, are well known.

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