New Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Shows Americans’ Economic Anxiety Has Reached a New High on the Eve of the Election

Americans’ anxiety over their personal economic situation has increased significantly in the past year

LOS ANGELES--()--Even while the economy has grown and continued to add jobs over the past year, Americans have become increasingly anxious about their personal economy – to the point where they’re losing sleep over it. Americans’ economic anxiety has increased since the spring of this year and is up significantly from a year ago, according the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. The increased anxiety reflected in the poll is due to a variety of factors including increased fear of losing a job in the next 12 months, increased fear over the ability to make payments on monthly expenses, and individual’s overall feeling of financial security.

Using responses to the poll, Marketplace and Edison Research created the Economic Anxiety Index®, a number on a scale from 0-100 that is calculated from answers to a battery of questions. the Economic Anxiety Index® describes just how stressed out people feel about their personal financial situation. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling.

Key Findings

  • The Economic Anxiety Index® is now 36, up 20 percent from a year ago.
  • More Americans are increasingly worried about losing their job, the ability to pay their mortgage or rent, and saving for retirement. Thirty percent of Americans are very fearful that they will lose their job in the next six months, up from 10% a year ago.
  • More than a third of Americans, 39%, are saying that their personal financial situation actually causes them to lose sleep.
  • One quarter of Americans completely distrust the economic data reported by the federal government, including statistics like the unemployment rate, the number of jobs added, and the amount of consumer spending.
    • Almost half of Donald Trump supporters (48%) completely distrust the economic data reported by the federal government compared to only 5% of Hillary Clinton supporters.
  • Sixty-four percent of Americans are frequently or sometimes anxious about their financial situation and only 34% of Americans feel financially secure.

Economic Fairness

  • Is the economy rigged in favor of certain groups? A majority of Americans, 62%, think so. Majorities of all demographic groups agree, including Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all income levels.
  • There is consensus as to who the economy is rigged to benefit. A majority of respondents who think the economy is rigged agree – it is rigged for the rich, politicians, banks and bank executives, and corporations. However, supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump differ dramatically on how the rigged economic system is benefiting other subgroups. Sixty-six percent of Trump supporters say the economy is rigged for people who receive government assistance, compared to 32% of Clinton supporters; and 62% of Clinton supporters say the economy is rigged for whites, only 21% of Trump supporters say so.

Partisan Findings

  • More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) are either dissatisfied or angry with elected officials in Washington. Despite the dissatisfaction with elected officials in Washington as a whole, 52% approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy.
  • Even with a Presidential election coming up, Americans are split as to whether they can influence the government. Half of all Americans say that there is not much people can do to influence the government in Washington and half say that people who are willing to make the effort can influence the government.
    • Clinton supporters are more hopeful, however – with 59% saying that if they make the effort, they can influence the government, compared with 44% of Trump supporters
  • Dissatisfaction with the current candidates for President has steadily increased over the past year as the nominees have emerged from the primaries and the general election has taken shape. More than half of Americans (52%) are dissatisfied by the candidates for President, up from 35% in February, in the middle of the primary election seasons.
  • When asked to describe the presidential election, 71% of Americans thought the word “afraid” describes it well. However, more than half of Americans (55%) thought the word “hopeful” also describes it well.

Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Methodology

The Marketplace Edison Research Survey is a national survey of Americans ages 18 years and older. A total of 1,036 respondents were interviewed with 501 interviews conducted by telephone and 535 interviews conducted online. Among the telephone interviews, 250 were conducted via a landline phone and 251 interviews conducted via a cell phone so that we could achieve the proper proportion of coverage of households in the United States that do not have a landline phone. The landline and cell phone sample of phone numbers and the email addresses for the online survey were provided by Survey Sampling International (SSI).

The average length of the telephone interviews was nineteen minutes. The telephone interviews were conducted from October 1st – 8th, 2016.

The data was weighted to match the most recent United States population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for age, gender, race and region of the country.

About Marketplace

The Marketplace® portfolio of programs are produced and distributed by American Public Media®, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. Marketplace®, Marketplace Weekend®, Marketplace Morning Report® and Marketplace Tech® are currently broadcast by nearly 800 public radio stations nationwide and heard by more than 12 million weekly listeners. Marketplace® has the largest broadcast audience of any business news program, on radio or television, in the country. Marketplace® programs also have a robust digital audience, with more than 5 million podcast downloads and stream requests every month, on apps like iTunes, Slacker and TuneIn. Marketplace® programs are noted for their timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance, focusing on the latest national and international business news, the global economy and wider events linked to the financial markets. For more information on Marketplace® programs, visit For more information on American Public Media, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio and StreamGuys. Data are estimates only.

About Edison Research –

Since its founding in 1994, Edison Research has conducted over 11,000 research assignments in 38 countries. Edison works with a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institute, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Siemens, SiriusXM Radio, and Univision Communications.

Since 2003, Edison Research has been the sole provider of exit poll information to ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press, having conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison recently completed its 2016 Presidential Primary and Caucus coverage, and is currently preparing for the November 2016 General Election. This exit poll is the largest single-day survey research project in the world, with more than 100,000 interviews.


Edison Research
Mary Meyn
Mark Larson


Edison Research
Mary Meyn
Mark Larson