American Pulse™ Releases New Data that Unemployment is #1 Problem Affecting U.S.; Gas Prices #2

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Over 5,000 Americans participate in the American Pulse Survey conducted twice a month. The latest results show that unemployment, gas prices, weak economy and national debt are major issues weighing heavily on their minds.

With an unemployment rate that remains high, it is no surprise that the stubborn labor market tops the list of major issues facing the United States.

With an unemployment rate that remains high, it is no surprise that the stubborn labor market tops the list of major issues facing the United States. 21.3% of Adults 18+ said unemployment is the #1 problem currently affecting the United States, according to the latest American Pulse™ Survey of 5,340 respondents. Rising gas prices (20.5%), weak economy (19.1%) and national debt (16.9%) follow closely.

Although these are the top four issues among all Americans, members of major political parties disagree on which issue is the most important. Republicans say national debt (25%), Democrats say unemployment (26.6%) and Independents say the weak economy (20.9%) is the top problem affecting the U.S. (See attachment for additional data.)

Full complimentary report

With Americans feeling the pain of high gas prices, it is no wonder that half want to allow oil companies to drill. 50.1% of Adults 18+ believe policies that stop companies from drilling in the U.S. are one of the reasons gas prices are so high (33.2% disagree and 16.7% don’t know). Nearly half (49.5%) also disapprove of the EPA’s decision that halted Shell Oil Company’s plans to drill off the coast of Alaska. 26.3% agree with this decision while 24.2% aren’t sure.

High unemployment, high pump prices and high national debt likely contributed to Standard & Poor’s decision to lower its outlook on the U.S. to negative. Nearly 9 in 10 (88.4%) Adults 18+ think the debt situation in the U.S. is somewhat/very serious. Another 50.3% go far enough to say the size of national debt will lead to an economic collapse. Americans agree that increasing spending is not the answer, but the best solution differs by party.

Republicans (51.1%) and Independents (35.7%) would opt for a decrease in government spending while Democrats (44.3%) want to see more taxes on those with higher incomes. (See attachment for additional data.)

How do you think President Obama is doing? America’s Report Card is in! For a Special SlideShare report:

American Pulse™
The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online by BIGresearch® twice a month exclusively utilizing SSI’s U.S. panel covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. 5,340 respondents participated in the 2nd April American Pulse conducted 4/25-4/28/2011. Margin of error is +/- 1.4%.

Survey Sampling International (SSI)
Survey Sampling International is the premier global provider of sampling solutions for survey research. SSI reaches respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone and mobile/wireless. Client services include questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, and data processing. SSI serves more than 2,000 clients, including 48 of the top 50 research organizations. Founded in 1977, SSI has 17 offices in 15 countries.

Chrissy Wissinger                     

Randi Honkonen                            

Ilene Siegalovsky

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Chrissy Wissinger
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