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Poll: Recession hit 70% of N.C. residents

Posted April 27, 2009

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— Most North Carolina residents have felt the pinch of the economic downturn, with many losing money in the stock market, seeing the value of their homes plummet or having their work curtailed, according to a poll released Monday.

The Elon University Poll interviewed 662 people in North and South Carolina between April 19 and April 23 and found a majority of residents feel too much attention has been focused on propping up banks and the auto industry, while homeowners and small-business owners have gotten short shrift. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

More than 70 percent of North Carolinians surveyed said the recession had affected them, with 57 percent losing money in the stock market, 44 percent losing more than a quarter of the value in their retirement account and 42 percent seeing their homes decline in value. Eleven percent said they had lost a job, 24 percent have had their hours cut at work and 15 percent have lost their health insurance, according to the poll.

Fifty-one percent of state respondents said they thought the federal stimulus package would help the U.S. economy, but 42 percent remain opposed to the government's attempt to revive the economy.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in North Carolina said too much has been given to large banks, and 66 percent said the auto industry has gotten too much government support. Meanwhile, two-thirds said small-business owners struggling to stay in business have gotten too little from the government, and 52 percent said homeowners facing foreclosure also have received little support from the government.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said they support the idea of government aid to homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages.

About half of those surveyed said they disapprove of giving government money to prop up failing banks, and 79 percent said they think banks are struggling because of poor decisions by management.

“There is definitely a sense of skepticism about the economy,” Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll, said in a statement. “There appears to be a pervasive sentiment that citizens’ personal plights are being neglected, and as a result, they are growing more disgruntled with measures taken to address the ailing economy.”

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  • seaturtlesrule Apr 27, 2009

    You're right "handsome-ridge-road-jogger"...Where is my promised stimulus??! People were so excited, then the election was over and........???

  • time4real Apr 27, 2009

    heck, i'm doing about 1/2 the business i did last year, paying more for food and eveyrthing else, everyone i do business with has jacked prices on me, nope, hasn't hit me at all.

  • smegma Apr 27, 2009

    Nobody asked me. This article is pointless and DURDURDURRRRR

  • NCAries Apr 27, 2009

    I feel you rmgirl, me too.

  • ohmygosh Apr 27, 2009

    Compare current unemployment rates to other countries. For example, it is way over 10% in Germany and has been that way forever. For 20 soemthings in Spain it is huge.

    It shouldn't be forgotten that historically females were not included in the unemployement figures as they are now. To maintain a 5% unemployement rate with 40% working women means a huge number of jobs were created since the 60's over and above the general population increase. This didn't happen because of government programs. You can "blame" capitalism for it.

  • rmgirl Apr 27, 2009

    I work for the government and am not affected...why, because I was already living hand-to-mouth before the recession. You can't feel the absence of what you never had.

  • Gatsby Apr 27, 2009

    No way...Not here in the Forbes magazine favorite place to pump over the last 10 years.
    Recession?... Recession? What are we talking about? Recession?

    This is the golden area of the US...We do not suffer job losses, We do not lose in the stock lottery and home prices will never and I mean EVER go down...Just ask a (R)ealtor

  • freddie cadetti 72 Apr 27, 2009

    70% Effected by the recession. Makes sense to me. The other 30% work for the Government...City, State, Federal, or receive welfare and other social entitlements.

    And don't forget. Unemployment rate is 8%, that is only 3% higher than it was before the recession, so this is NOTHING like the recessions of '74 and '80.

  • cleveland_steamer Apr 27, 2009

    great, because 600 people is a good snapshot of the nc/sc economy

  • Jake1 Apr 27, 2009

    Even before I lost my job... Before gas went over $4, before a box of plastic kitchen trash bags went to $7, before bread tripled in price, before a small bottle of Drain-O went to $5, before name-brand cereal went above $4 (for a craftily-shrunken box), before we constantly had to bleed our retirement just to make ends meet, before the "trickle-down" wasn't trickling down at all...

    The economy (growth or not) kept our income flat for 5 years while prices of things we use every day continued to climb.

    Now that folks are calling things a technical recession, things haven't improved any.

    It's not all doom and gloom, though. Things will improve at some point. Our country is full of really great people - liberals, conservatives, independents, and everyone around and in-between... we'll find our way though it.

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