According to a new Gallup poll, 50% of respondents said they are “financially worse off now” than they were a year ago. This is the highest percentage since 2008 and 2009.
“Since Gallup first asked this question in 1976, it has been rare for half or more of Americans to say they are worse off,” an editor at the company wrote in a blog post about the results. The survey went to people in all 50 states and D.C.
Gallup said that 35% said they were “better off.” That level is consistent with what the organization has seen in “other challenging economic times,” like the early 1990s or late 1970s, the blog post added. Fourteen percent said the situations were the same.
People in the U.S. have been squeezed by inflation, often outpacing wage growth, as well as high prices on things like baby food and eggs amid supply chain shortages. Thousands in the tech industry have faced layoffs. Credit card debt has ballooned.
People with lower incomes reported being less well off since last year, Gallup noted, with 61% saying their situation has gotten worse.
At the same time, Gallup noted some optimism about finances — 60% of respondents expect to be doing better a year from now.
“High inflation, rising interest rates, and declining stock values in 2022 all likely took their toll on Americans’ financial situations,” Gallup wrote.
“Still, Americans remain optimistic about the year ahead for their financial situations, which they typically are, almost regardless of recent economic conditions,” that confidence could even “help to minimize or avert an economic recession,” the organization said.