A new survey performed by Gallup found that Americans’ satisfaction with the way the country functions is collectively at its lowest level in almost two decades of the company’s measurement. The average amount of respondents who affirmed to be satisfied with these seven areas has dropped to 39% at the start of 2021. As a matter of comparison, a year ago that rate was at 53%, the highest average in over a decade amid a strong economic outlook and before the health crisis struck in the U.S. Now, not only is average public satisfaction with the broad contours of the nation at dramatically low levels, but Americans’ satisfaction with each aspect of the index is at or near its lowest since 2001, which reflects declines of seven to 17 percentage points in the past year.
Almost 70 million Americans, or about 40% of the labor force, have filed for unemployment benefits since the burst of the outbreak. At this stage, nearly 10 million people remain out of work, and as our economy is still struggling to recover from the associated slowing of economic activity, while political tensions keep rising, it’s understandable why Americans’ views of the country are very different today than a year ago. Sadly, this year has not started on a very positive note either. The outlook for 2021 remains hazy. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits continues to be at nearly four times the pre-outbreak levels, as the new round of lockdowns is triggering a high number of layoffs.
Long-term unemployment is approaching a historical peak for roughly 40% of jobless workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Several labor economists have been arguing that this is a particularly dangerous period of unemployment for jobless workers since it means that their household income is significantly compromised for a prolonged period of time. Last month, only 49,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy, in contrast to the 227,000 jobs shed in December 2020. Given that there are about 10 million fewer jobs than before the recession, the director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute, Heidi Shierholz says that it could take approximately 29 years to get back to pre-recession levels at the current pace of job growth.
Although unemployment benefits can offer a safety net for out-of-work employees, not all qualify to collect them. In fact, according to a report published last week just 30% of unemployed individuals are being reached by the unemployment system. That is to say, approximately three out of every four jobless workers aren’t receiving aid – or about 8 million of the 11 million unemployed Americans.
In short, the trillions created out of thin air to allegedly boost the economy, for the most part, have ended up in the financial markets and only added to our already alarming national debt. The biggest part of that sum never made its way through those who needed the most. Instead, it has put our country on a highway to hyperinflation, which will only deteriorate our living standards in the long run, aggravate debt problems, and debase the value of our currency.
In view of all this, it’s perfectly comprehensible why Americans are feeling so pessimistic about the future of the nation. All of our institutions seem to be crumbling before our eyes, and the foundation of our economy is greatly shaken. The more authorities fail to properly assist our workers, the longer this painful recession will stretch. If you thought we were entering brighter days in 2021, we’re sorry to say that everywhere we look there is still gloominess on the horizon.
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