Unemployed Americans Are Not Optimists
Anyone who has ever been unemployed or “underemployed” (working part-time or freelancing when one needs full-time work) knows that it’s quite easy to get down about your employment prospects. But just in case you thought the 20 percent of Americans who are among the ranks of the un- and underemployed were happy, Gallup has a new poll just to prove they don’t love being on the margins of society.
Sixty-eight percent of those working part time are not optimistic about finding a full-time job and 55 percent of those unemployed are not hopeful about their prospects.
Of course, unlike economists and statisticians at the Labor Department, they don’t need to wait for depressing weekly or monthly unemployment figures to know that the economy sucks.
Interestingly, the same study shows that Obama polls more favorably among the underemployed than among the general public: He has a 55 percent approval rating among the underemployed and 49 percent overall. Of course, other studies showed recently that the wealthy are facing hardly any unemployment and the financial industry, which received a huge boost from the administration last year, may be shifting some political donations to Republicans (although that may just be spin, depending on how the rest of the election cycle plays out this year). Perhaps, then, Obama should hope that his newly passed jobs bill isn’t successful, lest those who benefit from it turn against him as soon as they have hope again.