Economy Dominates Public's Agenda, Dims Hopes for the Future

Jan 20, 2011

The public’s policy agenda is again dominated by the economy and jobs with other major issues viewed as less important. Fully 87% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress and 84% rate improving the job situation as a top priority, by far the highest percentages among 22 issues tested.

And with the economy continuing to struggle, optimism about the country’s long-term future has declined. Currently, 54% say they are optimistic about the long-term future of the United States, down from 61% last April. In 1999, 70% said they were optimistic about the country’s future.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 5-9 among 1,503 adults, finds that concern about the budget deficit has increased in recent years. Currently, 64% view reducing the budget deficit as a top priority, up slightly from 60% a year ago, and 53% in 2009. Yet reducing the deficit continues to lag far behind the economy and jobs among the public’s priorities.

Read the report Economy Dominates Public's Agenda, Dims Hopes for the Future in its entirety on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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