Americans’ Economic Anxiety Has Declined in the First Post-Election Marketplace-Edison Research Poll

Americans’ anxiety over their personal economic situation has decreased significantly since October 2016

LOS ANGELES--()--After measuring increasing anxiety for more than a year, the Economic Anxiety Index® has declined significantly, according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. The decrease in anxiety reflected in the poll is due to a variety of factors, including Americans’ decreasing fear of job loss in the next 12 months, declining fear of being able to pay for monthly expenses, and an overall improved feeling of financial security.

Nearing President Trump’s first 100 days in office, the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll also gauges approval of the president’s handling of the economy and measures the economic policy priorities of Americans.

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

  • After reporting ever-increasing anxiety the year before the election, the Economic Anxiety Index® showed a significant decrease for the first time.
  • The Economic Anxiety Index® is now 32, down 11 percent from its October 2016 level of 36.
  • Americans are less worried about losing their jobs, the ability to pay their mortgage or rent, and saving for retirement than they were six months ago.
  • Despite the reduced economic anxiety, people are very concerned about healthcare; it is the number one economic issue worrying Americans.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans feel the government in Washington has forgotten them, and this sentiment cuts across party lines.
  • Nearly 100 days after taking office, President Trump’s economic approval rating is 43%.
  • Most Americans support passing a large infrastructure bill, a policy that Trump campaigned on and one that many Democratic politicians support, but one that has not been addressed in the administration’s first 100 days.
  • A majority of Americans think building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico will hurt the U.S. economy.
  • A majority of Americans think expanding the number of visas for short-term or skilled workers would help the U.S. economy.
  • The percentage of Americans that completely distrust the economic data reported by the federal government, such as the unemployment rate, has declined from 25% to 18%. This is largely driven by an increase in trust among Republicans.

The verdict on President Trump’s economic policies, 100 days in

  • 43% of Americans approve of the way Donald Trump is handling the U.S. economy.
    • President Obama’s economic approval rating in October was 52%.
  • Americans are evenly divided as to whether the U.S. government should be run more like a business: 50% said that it should and 49% say that it should not be run more like a business.
    • Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to think that government should be run more like a business, 78% to 32%.
  • Thus far, Trump has not pursued a major infrastructure improvement bill, which is very popular and has bipartisan support.
    • 83% of Americans support Congress passing a large infrastructure bill.
    • Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to support this idea, with 85% of those who identify with each party supporting the idea.
  • The idea of raising taxes on businesses that move manufacturing jobs overseas also has a lot of bipartisan support.
    • 71% of Americans support raising taxes on businesses that move manufacturing jobs overseas.
    • Republicans are only slightly more likely to support this idea than Democrats, 74% to 69%.
  • Trump has proposed significantly increasing defense spending.
    • 50% of Americans support increased defense spending.
    • Republicans favor increased defense spending and Democrats oppose it – 72% of Republicans support it while only 35% of Democrats support it.


  • Fifty-seven percent of Americans think that building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico would hurt the U.S. economy.
  • Sixty percent of Americans think that expanding the number of visas for short-term or skilled workers would help the U.S. economy.
    • Both Democrats and Republicans say this policy will help the U.S. economy; 65% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans say it will help.
    • These numbers vary by education—52% of those with a high school education or less think it would help, while nearly 70% of those with a college or postgraduate degree think it would help.
  • When given the choice between two statements: “Immigrants take jobs away from American workers” or “Immigrants do the jobs Americans don’t want to do,” far more people identify with the latter. Sixty percent of Americans say that immigrants do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.


  • 82% of Americans worry about healthcare “a lot” or “a little.”
  • Healthcare worries Americans as a national economic issue more than any other issue, including jobs and unemployment, prices, taxes, immigration, the budget deficit, or trade.
    • Healthcare is the top concern for both Democrats and Republicans, but the issue worries more Democrats with 38% citing it as their top economic concern compared with 22% of Republicans.
  • Three-quarters of Americans fear not being able to afford the health care services they or their family need.

Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Methodology

The Marketplace Edison Research Survey is a national survey of Americans ages 18 years and older. A total of 1,044 respondents were interviewed with 500 interviews conducted by telephone and 544 interviews conducted online. Among the telephone interviews, 307 were conducted via a landline phone and 193 interviews conducted via a cell phone.

The average length of the telephone interviews was twenty minutes. The telephone interviews were conducted from April 1st – 8th 2017.

The data was weighted to match the most recent United States population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for age, gender, race, income 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 14 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 General Election coverage. This exit poll is the largest single-day survey research project in the world, with more than 100,000 interviews.


For Marketplace
Mark Larson


For Marketplace
Mark Larson