Unemployment now nation's top concern, new Gallup poll finds

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 17, 2014 


Barbara Hairston, left, pictured at her Tyrone, Georgia home with her daughter, Nichole Corbridge, and dog Tequila, October 22, 2013, has been unable to find work despite two decades of experience as a medical assistant.


The nation's top concern -- unemployment, according to a new Gallup survey.

Twenty-three percent mentioned jobs as the country's number one problem, with "the economy in general" second at 20 percent. Dissatisfaction with government was close behind at 19 percent.

"Economic issues again lead Gallup's measure of what Americans see as the most important problem facing the nation," said a Gallup analysis.

"Concerns about the government, at least as measured by responses to this open-ended question, have faded since the government shutdown in October."

The survey found that worries about the economy and jobs "may be linked to weakther-than-hoped-for jobs reports and flat job growth the past few months," Gallup found.

"The rise in mentions of unemployment specifically may also be related to declining concerns about the government. In inverse fashion, mentions of unemployment decreased last fall as mentions of government dissatisfaction rose.

"Now that the shutdown is over and the government has successfully passed a budget and avoided another debt ceiling shutdown, Americans appear to have shifted their focus away from the government and back to the still relatively weak job market."

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