Optimism for the future of the U.S. economy is quickly unraveling as people begin to feel the severity of COVID-19 lockdowns in the country.
In a joint survey by Harvard and Harris Polls, just 27 percent of U.S. adults responded in May that they felt the economy was on the right track in 2020. That’s down from 32 percent in April, and down even further from 51 percent at the beginning of the year.
Both Republicans and Democrats expressed pessimism in the future of the economy, as health experts battle with the federal government on how quickly the economy could potentially rebound if the country reopens businesses. Among Democrats and Independents, 80 percent and 68 percent, respectively, said the economy was on the wrong track. Republicans were split, with 43 percent saying it was on the wrong track and 44 percent saying it was heading in the right direction. A majority of respondents (68 percent) agreed that the current U.S. economy was “weak”.
This survey comes directly after the U.S. posted the worst job loss numbers since the Great Depression, with over 20 million jobs lost in just the month of April. The current unemployment rate has surged to just under 15 percent, and initial jobless claims filed over the past nine weeks is expected to reach 40 million by the end of this week.