LOS ANGELES — In light of arguably the most controversial election in history reaching its climax, GOBankingRates surveyed over 1,000 Americans to find that a majority of voters from both parties feel unconfident that the financial state of America will improve during the next president’s term.
The survey probed Americans on their confidence levels of how the wealth gap, homeownership affordability, wages and unemployment will improve in the next four years.
Surprisingly, Trump and Hillary Supporters Align on 3 Financial Issues:
- 83% of Clinton supporters and 84% of Trump supporters aren’t confident that the wealth gap will decrease.
- 60% of Clinton supporters and 61% of Trump supporters aren’t confident that unemployment levels will decrease.
- 81% of Clinton supporters and 76% of Trump supporters aren’t confident that homeownership will become affordable.
However, supporters for both presidential candidates aren’t in total agreement regarding employee wages. While a majority of both Clinton and Trump supporters are generally not confident employee wages will increase in the next four years, Clinton supporters are noticeably more confident 46% of Clinton supporters are confident versus 37% of Trump supporters – a difference of 9 percentage points.
Americans Least Confident Wealth Gap Will Close in 4 Years
The wealth gap in the U.S. is growing at a rapid rate. Looking at the years between 1963 and 2013, the richest families — those in the 90th of wealth distributions — have quadrupled their wealth, according to Urban Institute.
By comparison, the poorest in the U.S. — those in the bottom 10th percentile — actually lost money, going from having no wealth, on average, to an estimated $2,000 in debt. And that comparison pales in scope to the change in the 99th percentile’s affluence: Their wealth grew six times over.
Perhaps this is why very few Americans have confidence the country’s wealth gap issue will get better during the next presidential term.
In the GOBankingRates survey, respondents made it very apparent they don’t believe the wealth gap between the rich and the poor will decrease in the next four years. Here’s a breakdown of Americans’ confidence:
- 63% are “not confident at all.”
- 20% are “slightly confident.”
- 11% are “somewhat confident.”
- 6% are “very confident.”
Americans Believe Unemployment Won’t Go Down Anytime Soon
Both Trump and Clinton promise the creation of more jobs if elected president. In fact, Trump’s vision includes creating 25 million new jobs over the next decade, and Clinton’s plan is to “make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II.”
But it doesn’t seem their supporters fully believe in these plans — and perhaps with good reason.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has increased ever-so-slightly in the past 10 years. In December 2006, the rate was 4.4 percent; as of September 2016, the rate is 5 percent.
After asking respondents, “How confident are you that unemployment will decrease in the next four years?” our survey found the general level of confidence was poor and equal among both candidates’ supporters.
Age: Older Millennials Confident in Clinton — But Younger Millennials Aren’t
Baby boomers are generally more confident than the other age groups on the issue of unemployment. In fact, this older generation shows twice as much confidence (18%) as millennials (7%).
Among Clinton supporters, the question of unemployment decreasing produced varied results among ages. Older millennials (ages 25 to 34) and younger boomers (ages 55 to 64) are the most confident supporters.
Perhaps the higher level of confidence among millennials is due in part to Clinton’s jobs plan, which involves a $20 billion initiative to create more jobs and apprenticeships, and is targeted toward younger Americans.
But although older millennials supporting Clinton are generally confident unemployment will decrease, younger millennials seem to have the same amount of faith as younger millennials voting for Trump:
- 66% of younger millennials supporting Trump are not confident unemployment will improve.
- 64% of Clinton’s younger millennial supporters aren’t confident as well.
For Trump supporters, faith in an unemployment decline is strongest among those ages 65 and up.
Affordable Homeownership Is an American Fantasy
There are plenty of reasons Americans lack confidence in homeownership affordability. Having endured a massive housing bubble, as well as the worst financial crash since the Great Depression, Americans are skeptical owning a home will be cheaper in the next four years.
After all, housing prices are skyrocketing in certain cities, including Miami, New York, San Diego and more, found a recent GOBankingRates analysis. And according to Zillow, the median home value in the U.S. is expected to increase nearly 3 percent within the next year.
On top of that, homeownership rates have declined in recent years. Since the end of the Great Recession, the rate has dropped 4.5 percent, reports Freddie Mac. Also according to Freddie Mac: Some experts believe the homeownership rate will continue to fall.
Although not as bad as the wealth gap, homeownership affordability evokes little in the way of confidence among Trump and Clinton supporters. That said, the supporters’ similar confidence levels do reveal some intriguing insights.
- 16% of males feel “very confident” that employee wages will increase, compared to only 10% of women.
- Baby boomers report being “very confident” that unemployment will decrease, more than twice as often as millennials.
- The highest earners and the lowest earners both report not being confident at all that homeownership will become more affordable (48% and 53% respectively).
- Those making $150,000+ are the least confident income group that unemployment will decrease in the next 4 years.
“The overall shared lack of confidence in America’s immediate financial future from both Trump and Hillary supporters is made ever present by these survey findings,” said Andrew DePietro, Finance Writer for GOBankingRates. “It’s a scary reality that a majority of respondents — sometimes over 80% — are generally not confident that beneficial economic changes will come in the next four years.”
For full survey details, go to:
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