Faith that the future will be better than the present is slipping, as despite President Obama's demands that Americans not be "cynics," a new report shows there is a major lack of confidence that the next generation will have it better than the last one. As WSJ reports, most strikingly, only 16% of respondents agree that job and career opportunities will be better for the next generation than for their own – a drop from the 56% who were optimistic about this measure in 1999 and down even from the 40% who agreed in November 2009, well into the recession.
In addition, a majority of those surveyed believe the recession permanently altered economic conditions in the U.S.
The numbers, while measuring individuals’ feelings rather than more objective measures such as employment or income, paint a picture of a workforce scarred by personal experience with unemployment or close proximity to others who suffered.
And despite more than six consecutive months of companies adding 200,000 or more jobs, workers are still pessimistic about their prospects for finding decent work. “Only 20 percent of currently employed workers feel extremely or very confident they could find another job if they were laid off,” the researchers found.
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