Most Americans Still Say Job Recovery Is Only Partial

businessman with empty pockets
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Job recovery may be on the upswing: There were 5 million job openings at the end of January, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported. In the past year, the economy has added 3.3 million jobs, as CNN money reported. February saw creation of 295,000 jobs, which beat estimates. The biggest growth has been in retail, healthcare, and such service areas as legal and accounting.But whatever the official numbers say, few are convinced that things are back to normal. Sixty percent of Americans say the recovery is partial, according to a Pew Research Center study, while 32 percent said there was hardly any recover at all. Only 7 percent say the country has seen a full recovery in jobs. That's still up from the 47 percent in September 2013 who said that there was at least partial job recovery.

The most optimistic group -- 78 percent saw at least a partial recovery -- were those whose family incomes were between $75,000 and $99,999. The least optimistic group, with 61 percent seeing full or partial recover, were people with household incomes of less than $30,000. Democrats were far more bullish (80 percent) than Republicans (54 percent). Independents fell between the two, with 65 percent perceiving at least partial recovery.

When it comes to household incomes recovering from the recession, 65 percent of those that bring in $100,000 or more annually said they had partially or fully recovered. Only half of those making less than $30,000 said they had even partially recovered.

Whether you can credit the Obama administration for jobs recovery is a subject of contentious political debate. On the larger question of who benefited from government policies, two-thirds of all respondents said that wealthy people were helped either a fair amount or a great deal. That compares to 32 percent who said that poor people had benefited. Only 26 percent said that middle class families had been helped by government policies. Republicans, at 55 percent, were less likely to believe that wealthy families benefited from government programs, and only 16 percent thought middle class families did, although 38 percent said the poor had. For Democrats, 36 percent said the middle class had been helped, 34 percent said the poor had, and 73 percent said the wealthy benefited. Independents were more pessimistic, with 24 percent saying the middle class had been helped, 39 percent saying the poor had, and 69 percent, the wealthy had.

The study was based on a national sample of 1,504 adults who were interviewed by phone in late February.
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