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Many Americans think damaged economy is permanent, survey finds

February 07, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the Great Recession's long-term damage to the economy.
Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the Great Recession's… (Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg )

An increasing number of Americans, taking the glass-is-half-empty approach, believe the economy has gone through a permanent change for the worse since the Great Recession, a survey found.

Six in 10 Americans now think that the economy has changed irrevocably, up from 56% in 2010 who thought so, according to a survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed say the economy will never fully recover, while more than half think it will take at least six years, if not more, for the county to copletely shake off the damage from the Great recession.

STUDY: Nearly half of Americans are one emergency away from financial ruin

"Five years of economic misery have profoundly diminished Americans' confidence in the economy and their outlook for the next generation," said Carl Van Horn, a Rutgers professor and coauthor of the survey.

That pessimism is rooted heavily in what Americans have already suffered.

About 73% of Americans have either lost a job or know a close relative or friend who has lost a job at some point in the last four years. More than half say they have less savings in the bank than before the recession began. The vast majority of those surveyed think college will be permanently out of financial reach for most young people.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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