The survey asked Americans how they were faring in today's economy, and revisited key questions from a similar poll we commissioned last year to see if economic recovery was reaching people on the ground. With the data in hand, we can now definitively say that it is not. In fact, says Anika Rahman, Ms. Foundation President and CEO, “the impact of the economic downturn continues virtually unabated, and in some cases is far worse, especially for low-income women and women of color. The so-called economic recovery is not reaching women or others in need—not by a long stretch.”
[Read a summary of the findings.]
In a key indicator of economic security, the percentage of Americans who report living paycheck to paycheck all or most of the time was up five points over 2010 to 49 percent. But the increase among low-income women is especially staggering: 77 percent report living paycheck to paycheck, a 17-point jump from last year. Other highlights include:
- Seventy-one percent of women and 65 percent of men say the economic downturn had some or a great deal of impact on their families.
- Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) remain concerned that they or someone in their household could be out of a job in the next 12 months.
- Low-income women continue to feel the greatest impact from the downturn, with 80 percent saying it has had some or a great deal of impact compared with 73 percent of low-income men. Other groups experiencing a particularly strong impact are: Latinas (74 percent); single mothers (73 percent); and women without a college degree (74 percent).
“Our political leaders must quickly reprioritize, stop the reckless gutting of the budget in the name of deficit-reduction, and create jobs that will enable women, in particular, to recover,” says Anika Rahman. “If women cannot move forward, then our economy cannot move forward. And if our economy cannot move forward, neither can our nation. Certainly, with the situation as dire as Americans tell us it is, wasting one more second is something none of us can afford.”
Read a summary of the complete findings.
Read a summary of findings on the role of government in fixing the economy.
Learn what the 2010 survey uncovered.