A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp poll released today shows that Americans feel “unemployment is the most important economic issue facing the country today, almost three times higher than the 13 percent who felt the same way last April.”
Inflation is second at 20 percent, followed by the mortgage crisis at 16 percent, the stock market at 14 percent and taxes at 11 percent.
Last April, 47 percent of poll respondents said rising prices and the rate of inflation were the most important economic issues facing the country, putting that at the top of U.S. economic concerns.
“Last spring, Americans were spooked by rising gas prices,” said Keating Holland, the CNN polling director. “Now they’re spooked by high unemployment figures and the growing concern that good jobs aren’t available.”
In February the national unemployment rate was at 8.1 %. The concern is that the “jobless rate could break into double digits by year’s end.”
The unemployment level is the highest in more than 25 years. About 4.4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007.
In California, the unemployment rate topped 10.1% in January, ranking it among the hardest hit states in the nation for unemployment. It’s not such a “dreamy” place to live these days.
On a related note, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today, “We’ll see the recession coming to an end probably this year.” I hope he’s right in that prediction, but I’m dubious at this point that we will see end to this that soon.