Americans not so optimistic about 2011, poll says

Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:19pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters Life!) - Americans are ringing out 2010 on a worried note, feeling grim about the job market, the cost of living and their retirement savings, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

Three-quarters of those surveyed are dissatisfied with national conditions, and nearly half fear the economy will take a long time to recover, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Nearly nine in ten describe U.S. economic conditions as poor or fair, it said. However, the number of people calling conditions fair, rather than poor, has risen slightly since October.

Looking ahead, 55 percent think 2011 will be better than this year, and 31 percent say the coming year will be worse.

That's more pessimistic than a year ago, when 67 percent thought 2010 would be better than 2009, it said.

"There was a good deal more optimism last year than this year," said Carroll Doherty, a Pew associate director. "Maybe they had a sense the economy was turning a corner, which didn't turn out quite to be the case.

"This year maybe people are a little more tempered," he said.

Almost half, or 48 percent, said it will be a long time before the economy recovers, while a third predicted it will recover soon, the survey said.

Four out of five people said jobs in their communities are hard to come by, and two out of three say jobs in their line of work are difficult to find, it said.   Continued...

<p>Beth Stiner holds her appraisal summary for her rental home as her husband Aaron Stiner works on his computer at their rented home in Phoenix, Arizona December 11, 2010. The Stiner's were planning on buying their rental home, but they were unable to make the purchase based on the two different appraisals making the cost of the home too low for a lender to agree on a loan. A second home in Chandler, Arizona that the Stiner's own was appraised three times making it impossible for them to sell in the housing market. Picture taken December 11, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>