Americans increasingly cite the government as their top concern, according to a new Gallup poll. 21% of Americans now believe the government is the most important problem facing the country today, up from 15% in November-December. While this is the top problem for both Democrats and Republicans, the two groups have differing views on what comes in second.
Inflation is the second most commonly cited concern, with 15% of Americans citing it as their top problem. This figure is down from November-December, though it remains a major worry. Illegal immigration has also edged up three percentage points to 11% as tensions over the U.S.-Mexico border persist. Mentions of the economy in general have fallen six points to 10%, the lowest reading in a year.
Despite the increasing concern over the government, approval ratings of President Joe Biden and Congress remain unchanged at 41% and 21%, respectively. Americans also remain largely positive about the job market, with 64% saying it is a good time to find a quality job.
The Economic Confidence Index (ECI) score has been negative since July 2021, when the U.S. inflation rate was on the rise. The current reading of -39 is the same as last month, but well above the -58 measured last June.
Overall, the Gallup poll shows that Americans' concerns about the government have grown significantly in the past month, while inflation remains the next most-cited issue. Fewer people name the economy in general, yet when asked about the economy directly, Americans continue to lack confidence in its current and future health. The outlook for the job market is still generally optimistic, though not as much as it was a year ago. As the U.S. unemployment rate remains relatively low, recent layoffs in the technology sector could affect opinions about the job market and the broader economy in the coming months.
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