domingo, 18 de septiembre de 2022

Youth Vote: Large shares in many countries are pessimistic about the next generation’s financial future


 Rubén Weinsteiner

When asked how children in their country will fare financially when they grow up, a median of 70% of adults across 19 countries say they will be worse off than their parents, according to a MARCA POLITICA Center survey conducted this spring.




MARCA POLITICA Center analysis focuses on the financial futures of the next generation in 19 countries, including the United States. For non-U.S. data, this post draws on nationally representative surveys of 20,944 adults from Feb. 14 to June 3, 2022. All surveys were conducted over the phone with adults in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. Surveys were conducted face to face in Hungary, Poland and Israel and online in Australia.

In the U.S., we surveyed 3,581 adults from March 21 to 27, 2022. Everyone who took part in the U.S. survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

Here are the questions used for this analysis, along with responses. Visit our methodology database for more information about the survey methods outside the U.S. For respondents in the U.S., read more about the ATP’s methodology.

At least three-quarters of adults in Japan, France, Italy and Canada say children will be worse off financially than their parents, as do majorities in Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands and South Korea. Singapore is the lone country surveyed where a majority of adults (56%) believe the next generation will be better off financially.

In Israel, Hungary and Poland – where the surveys were conducted through face-to-face interviews – more than one-in-ten volunteered a response of “same,” meaning they believe children will have about the same financial situation as their parents. Still, Hungarians are more pessimistic than optimistic about the financial future of children in their country, while Israelis are more optimistic and Poles are almost evenly split.

In nine of the countries surveyed, the percentage of people who say children are going to be worse off than their parents has increased significantly since the question was last asked. For example, 42% of respondents in Poland say the youngest generation will be worse off financially – nearly double the 23% who said so in 2019.

The proportion of people with a pessimistic view of children’s financial future is up by 14 percentage points in Australia, 12 points in the Netherlands and 11 points in Hungary since the last time the question was asked in each country. Smaller but still significant increases in these views occurred in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Japan and the U.S.

In 11 of the countries surveyed this year, a record or near record high percentage of adults say children will be worse off financially than their parents. In South Korea, for example, there has been a steady increase since the question was first asked in 2013 in the share of adults who say children will be worse off than their parents.

In other countries, however, the share of adults who see a worse financial future for children is lower than in previous years. In France, for example, 90% of adults said in 2013 – during the eurozone public debt crisis which resulted in a French recession – that children would be financially worse off than their parents.

In all 19 countries surveyed, people with a negative view of their country’s current economic conditions are far more likely to believe that children in their country will be worse off in the future. In Poland, for example, 63% of those with a negative view of the country’s current economic situation believe children will be worse off in the future. Among Polish adults who see the country’s current economic situation as good, by contrast, only 19% share this view. Even in Japan, where the difference is the smallest of 19 countries, the gap stands at 17 points.

Even among those with a positive view of their country’s current economy, however, many are pessimistic about the financial prospects of the next generation. In 10 countries – the U.S., Italy, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, France, Belgium and Japan – around half or more of adults with a positive view of the economy nevertheless expect children to be worse off than their parents.

Rubén Weinsteiner

sábado, 13 de agosto de 2022

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022

Rubén Weinsteiner
 

 

TikTok has established itself as one of the top online platforms for U.S. teens, while the share of teens who use Facebook has fallen sharply



How we did this

The landscape of social media is ever-changing, especially among teens who often are on the leading edge of this space. A new MARCA POLITICA survey of American teenagers ages 13 to 17 finds TikTok has rocketed in popularity since its North American debut several years ago and now is a top social media platform for teens among the platforms covered in this survey. Some 67% of teens say they ever use TikTok, with 16% of all teens saying they use it almost constantly. Meanwhile, the share of teens who say they use Facebook, a dominant social media platform among teens in the Center’s 2014-15 survey, has plummeted from 71% then to 32% today.

YouTube tops the 2022 teen online landscape among the platforms covered in the Center’s new survey, as it is used by 95% of teens. TikTok is next on the list of platforms that were asked about in this survey (67%), followed by Instagram and Snapchat, which are both used by about six-in-ten teens. After those platforms come Facebook with 32% and smaller shares who use Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit and Tumblr.1

Changes in the social media landscape since 2014-15 extend beyond TikTok’s rise and Facebook’s fall. Growing shares of teens say they are using Instagram and Snapchat since then. Conversely, Twitter and Tumblr saw declining shares of teens who report using their platforms. And two of the platforms the Center tracked in the earlier survey – Vine and Google+ – no longer exist.

There are some notable demographic differences in teens’ social media choices. For example, teen boys are more likely than teen girls to say they use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit, whereas teen girls are more likely than teen boys to use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. In addition, higher shares of Black and Hispanic teens report using TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp compared with White teens.2

This study also explores the frequency with which teens are on each of the top five online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Fully 35% of teens say they are using at least one of them “almost constantly.” Teen TikTok and Snapchat users are particularly engaged with these platforms, followed by teen YouTube users in close pursuit. A quarter of teens who use Snapchat or TikTok say they use these apps almost constantly, and a fifth of teen YouTube users say the same. When looking at teens overall, 19% say they use YouTube almost constantly, 16% say this about TikTok, and 15% about Snapchat.

When reflecting on the amount of time they spend on social media generally, a majority of U.S. teens (55%) say they spend about the right amount of time on these apps and sites, while about a third of teens (36%) say they spend too much time on social media. Just 8% of teens think they spend too little time on these platforms.

Asked about the idea of giving up social media, 54% of teens say it would be at least somewhat hard to give it up, while 46% say it would be at least somewhat easy. Teen girls are more likely than teen boys to express it would be difficult to give up social media (58% vs. 49%). Conversely, a quarter of teen boys say giving up social media would be very easy, while 15% of teen girls say the same. Older teens also say they would have difficulty giving up social media. About six-in-ten teens ages 15 to 17 (58%) say giving up social media would be at least somewhat difficult to do. A smaller share of 13- to 14-year-olds (48%) think this would be difficult.

Beyond just online platforms, the new survey finds that the vast majority of teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%) and gaming consoles (80%). And the study shows there has been an uptick in daily teen internet users, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. In addition, the share of teens who say they are online almost constantly has roughly doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).

These are some of the findings from an online survey of 1,316 teens conducted by the Pew Research Center from April 14 to May 4, 2022. More details about the findings on adoption and use of digital technologies by teens are covered below.
Smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, and gaming consoles remain widely accessible to teens

Since 2014-15, there has been a 22 percentage point rise in the share of teens who report having access to a smartphone (95% now and 73% then). While teens’ access to smartphones has increased over roughly the past eight years, their access to other digital technologies, such as desktop or laptop computers or gaming consoles, has remained statistically unchanged.

The survey shows there are differences in access to these digital devices for certain groups. For instance, teens ages 15 to 17 (98%) are more likely to have access to a smartphone than their 13- to 14-year-old counterparts (91%). In addition, teen boys are 21 points more likely to say they have access to gaming consoles than teen girls – a pattern that has been reported in prior Center research.3

Access to computers and gaming consoles also differs by teens’ household income. U.S. teens living in households that make $75,000 or more annually are 12 points more likely to have access to gaming consoles and 15 points more likely to have access to a desktop or laptop computer than teens from households with incomes under $30,000. These gaps in teen computer and gaming console access are consistent with digital divides by household income the Center has observed in previous teen surveys.

While 72% of U.S. teens say they have access to a smartphone, a computer and a gaming console at home, more affluent teens are particularly likely to have access to all three devices. Fully 76% of teens that live in households that make at least $75,000 a year say they have or have access to a smartphone, a gaming console and a desktop or laptop computer, compared with smaller shares of teens from households that make less than $30,000 or teens from households making $30,000 to $74,999 a year who say they have access to all three (60% and 69% of teens, respectively).
Almost all U.S. teens report using the internet daily

The share of teens who say they use the internet about once a day or more has grown slightly since 2014-15. Today, 97% of teens say they use the internet daily, compared with 92% of teens in 2014-15 who said the same.

In addition, the share of teens who say they use the internet almost constantly has gone up: 46% of teens say they use the internet almost constantly, up from only about a quarter (24%) of teenagers who said the same in 2014-15.

Black and Hispanic teens stand out for being on the internet more frequently than White teens. Some 56% of Black teens and 55% of Hispanic teens say they are online almost constantly, compared with 37% of White teens. The difference between Hispanic and White teens on this measure is consistent with previous findings when it comes to frequent internet use.

In addition, older teens are more likely to be online almost constantly. Some 52% of 15- to 17-year-olds say they use the internet almost constantly, while 36% of 13- to 14-year-olds say the same. Another demographic pattern in “almost constant” internet use: 53% of urban teens report being online almost constantly, while somewhat smaller shares of suburban and rural teens say the same (44% and 43%, respectively).

Slight differences are seen among those who say they engage in “almost constant” internet use based on household income. A slightly larger share of teens from households making $30,000 to $74,999 annually report using the internet almost constantly, compared with teens from homes making at least $75,000 (51% and 43%, respectively). Teens who live in households making under $30,000 do not significantly differ from either group.
The social media landscape has shifted

This survey asked whether U.S. teens use 10 specific online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, WhatsApp, Reddit and Tumblr.

YouTube stands out as the most common online platform teens use out of the platforms measured, with 95% saying they ever use this site or app. Majorities also say they use TikTok (67%), Instagram (62%) and Snapchat (59%). Instagram and Snapchat use has grown since asked about in 2014-15, when roughly half of teens said they used Instagram (52%) and about four-in-ten said they used Snapchat (41%).

The share of teens using Facebook has declined sharply in the past decade. Today, 32% of teens report ever using Facebook, down 39 points since 2014-15, when 71% said they ever used the platform. Although today’s teens do not use Facebook as extensively as teens in previous years, the platform still enjoys widespread usage among adults, as seen in other recent Center studies.

Other social media platforms have also seen decreases in usage among teens since 2014-15. Some 23% of teens now say they ever use Twitter, compared with 33% in 2014-15. Tumblr has seen a similar decline. While 14% of teens in 2014-15 reported using Tumblr, just 5% of teens today say they use this platform.

The online platforms teens flock to differ slightly based on gender. Teen girls are more likely than teen boys to say they ever use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, while boys are more likely to use Twitch and Reddit. Boys also report using YouTube at higher rates than girls, although the vast majority of teens use this platform regardless of gender.

Teens’ use of certain online platforms also differs by race and ethnicity. Black and Hispanic teens are more likely than White teens to say they ever use TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp. Black teens also stand out for being more likely to use TikTok compared with Hispanic teens, while Hispanic teens are more likely than their peers to use WhatsApp.

Older teens are more likely than younger teens to say they use each of the online platforms asked about except for YouTube and WhatsApp. Instagram is an especially notable example, with a majority of teens ages 15 to 17 (73%) saying they ever use Instagram, compared with 45% of teens ages 13 to 14 who say the same (a 28-point gap).

Despite Facebook losing its dominance in the social media world with this new cohort of teens, higher shares of those living in lower- and middle-income households gravitate toward Facebook than their peers who live in more affluent households: 44% of teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year and 39% of teens from households earning $30,000 to less than $75,000 a year say they ever use Facebook, while 27% of those from households earning $75,000 or more a year say the same. Differences in Facebook use by household income were found in previous Center surveys as well (however the differences by household income were more pronounced in the past).

When it comes to the frequency that teens use the top five platforms the survey looked at, YouTube and TikTok stand out as the platforms teens use most frequently. About three-quarters of teens visit YouTube at least daily, including 19% who report using the site or app almost constantly. A majority of teens (58%) visit TikTok daily, while about half say the same for Snapchat (51%) and Instagram (50%).

Looking within teens who use a given platform, TikTok and Snapchat stand out for having larger shares of teenage users who visit these platforms regularly. Fully 86% of teen TikTok or Snapchat users say they are on that platform daily and a quarter of teen users for both of these platforms say they are on the site or app almost constantly. Somewhat smaller shares of teen YouTube users (20%) and teen Instagram users (16%) say they are on those respective platforms almost constantly (about eight-in-ten teen users are on these platforms daily).

Not only is there a smaller share of teenage Facebook users than there was in 2014-15, teens who do use Facebook are also relatively less frequent users of the platform compared with the other platforms covered in this survey. Just 7% of teen Facebook users say they are on the site or app almost constantly (representing 2% of all teens). Still, about six-in-ten teen Facebook users (57%) visit the platform daily.

Across these five platforms, 35% of all U.S. teens say they are on at least one of them almost constantly. While this is not a comprehensive rundown of all teens who use any kind of online platform almost constantly, this 35% of teens represent a group of relatively heavy platform users and they clearly have different views about their use of social media compared with those who say they use at least one of these platforms, though less often than “almost constantly.” Those findings are covered in a later section.

Larger shares of Black and Hispanic teens say they are on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram almost constantly than White teens. For example, Black and Hispanic teens are roughly five times more likely than White teens to say they are on Instagram almost constantly.

Hispanic teens are more likely to be frequent users of Snapchat than White or Black teens: 23% of Hispanic teens say they use this social media platform almost constantly, while 12% of White teens and 11% of Black teens say the same. There are no racial and ethnic differences in teens’ frequency of Facebook usage.

Overall, Hispanic (47%) and Black teens (45%) are more likely than White teens (26%) to say they use at least one of these five online platforms almost constantly.
Slight majorities of teens see the amount of time they spend on social media as about right and say it would be hard to give up

As social media use has become a common part of many teens’ daily routine, the Center asked U.S. teens how they feel about the amount of time they are spending on social media. A slight majority (55%) say the amount of time they spend of social media is about right, and smaller shares say they spend too much time or too little time on these platforms.

While a majority of teen boys and half of teen girls say they spend about the right amount of time on social media, this sentiment is more common among boys. Teen girls are more likely than their male counterparts to say they spend too much time on social media. In addition, White teens are more likely to see their time using social media as about right compared with Hispanic teens. Black teens do not differ from either group.

This analysis also explored how teens who frequently use these platforms may feel about their time on them and how those feelings may differ from teens who use these sites and apps less frequently. To do this, two groups were constructed. The first group is the 35% of teens who say they use at least one of the five platforms this survey covered – YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook – almost constantly. The other group consists of teens who say they use these platforms but not as frequently – that is, they use at least one of these five platforms but use them less often than “almost constantly.”

When asked how they feel about the time they spend on social media, 53% of teens who almost constantly use at least one of the platforms say they are on social media too much, while about three-in-ten teens (28%) who use at least one of these platforms but less often say the same.

Teens who are almost constantly online – not just on social media – also stand out for saying they spend too much time on social media: 51% say they are on social media too much. By comparison, 26% of teens who are online several times a day say they are on social media too much.

When reflecting on what it would be like to try to quit social media, teens are somewhat divided whether this would be easy or difficult. Some 54% of U.S. teens say it would be very (18%) or somewhat hard (35%) for them to give up social media. Conversely, 46% of teens say it would be at least somewhat easy for them to give up social media, with a fifth saying it would be very easy.

Teenage girls are slightly more likely to say it would be hard to give up social media than teen boys (58% vs. 49%). A similar gap is seen between older and younger teens, with teens 15 to 17 years old being more likely than 13- and 14-year-olds to say it would be at least somewhat hard to give up social media.

A majority of teens who use at least one of the platforms asked about in the survey “almost constantly” say it would be hard to give up social media, with 32% saying it would be very hard. Smaller shares of teens who use at least one of these online platforms but use them less often say the same.

The teens who think they spend too much time on social media also report they would struggle to step back completely from it. Teens who say they spend too much time on social media are 36 percentage points more likely than teens who see their usage as about right to say giving up social media would be hard (78% vs. 42%). In fact, about three-in-ten teens who say they use social media too much (29%) say it would be very hard for them to give up social media. Conversely, a majority of teens who see their social media usage as about right (58%) say that it would be at least somewhat easy for them to give it up.


Rubén Weinsteiner

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2022

Most Americans view unions favorably, though few workers belong to on

Rubén Weinsteiner


Most Americans like labor unions, at least in the abstract. A majority (55%) holds a favorable view of unions, versus 33% who hold an unfavorable view, according to a Pew Research Center survey from earlier this year. For most of the past three decades that the Center has asked that question, in fact, Americans have viewed unions at least somewhat more favorably than unfavorably.

RRubDespite those fairly benign views, unionization rates in the United States have dwindled in recent decades (even though, in the past few years, the absolute number of union members has grown slightly). As of 2017, just 10.7% of all wage and salary workers were union members, matching the record low set in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Back in 1983, when the BLS data series begins, about a fifth (20.1%) of wage and salary workers belonged to a union. (Unionization peaked in 1954 at 34.8% of all U.S. wage and salary workers, according to separate data from the Congressional Research Service.)

The long-term decline of organized labor has affected most parts of the U.S. economy, but not uniformly. In general, the biggest declines in unionization have come in those occupations and industries that were – and to a large extent still are – the foundations of the American labor movement, according to our analysis of BLS data going back to 2000.

Among the 22 broad occupational categories into which the BLS sorts U.S. wage and salary workers, the biggest decline in union membership from 2000 to 2017 was in transportation and material moving occupations, a broad grouping that includes everything from airline pilots and long-haul truckers to taxi drivers, train conductors and parking-lot attendants. In 2000, nearly 1.8 million of the 8.1 million workers in those occupations, or 21.7%, were union members. By last year, only 1.3 million transportation and material moving workers (14.8%) were unionized, even though total employment in the sector had grown to more than 8.8 million.

Manufacturing-type jobs, both union and non-union, have shriveled in both absolute and percentage terms. In 2000, 2.1 million of the nearly 11.1 million Americans in production occupations (19.0%) were union members. Last year, total employment in that category (which consists mostly of manufacturing-related jobs but also includes bakers, tailors and jewelers, among others) was 8.1 million, only a million of whom (12.4%) were union.

Over that same timespan, unionization rates in installation, maintenance and repair occupations fell from 21.2% to 15.5%. In construction and extraction occupations (such as carpenters, oilfield workers and miners), unionization fell from 23.8% to 19.3%.

The two occupational groups with the highest unionization levels in 2017 were protective service, such as police officers, firefighters and security guards (34.7%), and education, training and library (33.5%). Perhaps not surprisingly, both groups are composed largely of public-sector workers. In 2017, federal, state and local governments had far higher unionization rates overall (26.6%, 30.3% and 40.1%, respectively) than the private sector taken as a whole (6.5%).

When it comes to industries, meanwhile, utilities (electric, gas and water suppliers) had the highest overall unionization rate last year – 23.0%, though that was down from 28.3% as recently as 2010. Transportation and warehousing had the second-highest private-sector unionization rate, 17.3%, but also saw the biggest decline (8.4 percentage points) since 2000. That year, more than a quarter (25.7%) of workers in that industry belonged to a union.

Not all the news is bleak for labor unions. The total number of unionized workers has grown modestly in recent years: up about 451,000 between 2012 and 2017, to just over 14.8 million. Most of that increase has occurred in two occupational categories: construction and extraction workers and healthcare practitioners and technicians. The construction industry, which was hammered (so to speak) by the housing collapse a decade ago, has recovered most of the 2.2 million jobs it shed between 2006 and 2010. The health care and social assistance industry was barely affected by the Great Recession, and has added more than 1.7 million jobs in the past six years alone.

Globally, the U.S. ranks 29th in its overall unionization rate among the 36 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, most of which are developed democracies. However, like the U.S., nearly all OECD countries have experienced unionization declines, even those with strong and long-established labor movements: Sweden, for example, has seen its unionization rate fall from 79% in 2000 to 66.1% last year.

More Americans view the long-term decline of organized labor negatively than positively, according to the Pew Research Center survey from earlier this year. About half (51%) say the large reduction in union representation in recent decades has been mostly bad for working people, while 35% say it has been mostly good. Blacks, young adults and people with advanced degrees were most likely to view declining union representation negatively. There also were sharp partisan splits, with 68% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying the reduction in union membership has been mostly bad for working people and 53% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents saying it’s been mostly good. 

 Rubén Weinsteiner

miércoles, 3 de agosto de 2022

Majority of U.S. Workers Changing Jobs Are Seeing Real Wage Gains

 

Ruben Weinsteiner


Roughly one-in-five workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months, but only about a third of these workers think it would be easy to find one


 

The Great Resignation of 2021 has continued into 2022, with quit rates reaching levels last seen in the 1970s. Although not all workers who leave a job are working in another job the next month, the majority of those switching employers are seeing it pay off in higher earnings, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government data.

From April 2021 to March 2022, a period in which quit rates reached post-pandemic highs, the majority of workers switching jobs (60%) saw an increase in their real earnings over the same month the previous year. This happened despite a surge in the rate of inflation that has eroded real earnings for many others. Among workers who remained with the same employer, fewer than half (47%) experienced an increase in real earnings.

Overall, 2.5% of workers – about 4 million – switched jobs on average each month from January to March 2022. This share translates into an annual turnover of 30% of workers – nearly 50 million – if it is assumed that no workers change jobs more than once a year. It is higher than in 2021, when 2.3% of workers switched employers each month, on average. About a third (34%) of workers who left a job from January to March 2022 – either voluntarily or involuntarily – were with a new employer the following month.

When it comes to the earnings of job switchers, the share finding higher pay has increased since the year following the start of the pandemic. From April 2020 to March 2021, some 51% of job switchers saw an increase in real earnings over the same months the previous year. On the other hand, among workers who did not change employers, the share reporting an increase in real earnings decreased from 54% over the 2020-21 period to 47% over the 2021-22 period. Put another way, the median worker who changed employers saw real gains in earnings in both periods, while the median worker who stayed in place saw a loss during the April 2021 to March 2022 period.1 Perhaps not coincidentally, Americans cited low pay as one of the top reasons why they quit their job last year in a Pew Research Center survey conducted in February 2022.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that about one-in-five workers (22%) say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. And despite reports of widespread job openings, 37% of workers say they think finding a new job would be very or somewhat difficult. Workers who feel they have little or no job security in their current position are among the most likely to say they may look for new employment: 45% say this, compared with only 14% of those who say they have a great deal of security in their job. Similarly, those who describe their personal financial situation as only fair or poor are about twice as likely as those who say their finances are excellent or good to say they’d consider making a job change (29% vs. 15%).

Among workers leaving a job between 2019 and the first quarter of 2022, the majority were either unemployed the next month or had left the labor force and were, at least temporarily, not actively seeking work. Except for in 2020, between 15% and 18% of workers who left a job one month were unemployed the next month and 48% to 53% had left the labor force. In 2020, the year the coronavirus pandemic began, a third (33%) of workers who left a job were still unemployed the next month, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 recession.

Looking across key demographic groups, Black and Hispanic workers, workers without a high school diploma and young adults are more likely to change jobs in any given month. About half of job switchers also change their industry or occupation in a typical month, but this share has not changed since 2019. Women who leave a job are more likely than men who leave a job to take a break from the labor force, and men with children at home are least likely to do the same.

These findings emerge in part from the Pew Research Center’s analysis of monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data from January 2019 to March 2022. The CPS is the U.S. government’s official source for monthly estimates of unemployment. In principle, about three-quarters of the people interviewed in one month of the CPS are also interviewed in the next month. Similarly, about half of the people interviewed in one year are scheduled for interviews in the next year. Much of the analysis exploits these features to study the monthly transitions of workers from, for example, employment to unemployment, and to examine the changes in their earnings from one year to the next.

The report also draws on findings from a nationally representative survey of 6,174 U.S. adults, including 3,784 employed adults. The survey was conducted June 27 to July 4, 2022, using the Center’s American Trends Panel. See the methodology for more details.

The U.S. government’s job quits rate

The “quits rate,” reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) each month, is a measure of voluntary departures from employment. Workers who retired or transferred to another location are excluded from the quits rate but are included among “other separations” from employment. In addition, workers are classified as having been discharged or laid off, separating from their jobs involuntarily.

The quits rate stood at 2.8% in May 2022, up from a recent low of 1.6% in April 2020, seasonally adjusted. The increase since 2019 – when the quits rate averaged 2.3% for the year – is less sizable. The overall job separations rate stood at 3.9% in May 2022, about the same as a pre-pandemic average of 3.8% in 2019.

Not all workers who quit a job voluntarily one month are employed the next month. Based on its survey of business establishments, the BLS estimates roughly 4 million workers had quit their jobs each month in 2022. Separately, based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), a survey of households, the BLS reports that roughly 800,000 workers who were unemployed in an average month in 2022 were job leavers. Although these two estimates are based on different universes, they suggest that a substantial share of workers who voluntarily quit their jobs are unemployed, at least temporarily. Yet others may be taking a break from work.
The measures used in this report

This report focuses on three groups of workers who have seen a change in their employment status since the previous month. One group consists of workers who changed employers. They had jobs in both time periods but made a switch, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. It is possible that some of these workers were unemployed for up to four weeks in the transition from one job to the next. This group differs from the universe for the quits rate for two reasons: It includes involuntary departures, but it excludes those who were either unemployed or not seeking work the next month.

The second group of workers in the report consists of those who separated from employment but were still unemployed the next month. The third group is comprised of workers who were not seeking work in the month following a job separation. They are not necessarily retired and may return to work later.

The estimates in this report are derived from the CPS, whereas the official quits and separation rates are based on a survey of establishments. There are several differences between these two surveys, including the fact that only the CPS encompasses the unincorporated self-employed, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers and private household workers.
Black and Hispanic workers, workers with no college education and younger workers are more likely to change jobs in any given month

The rate at which workers switch jobs on average each month has seen its ups and downs since 2019. The turnover rate in the first quarter of 2022 (2.5%) was higher than in mid-2020, when the monthly rate had dropped to 1.9% during the COVID-19 downturn. However, it is similar to the rate that prevailed in the first quarter of 2019 (2.3%).2

Men and women changed employers monthly over the 2019-2022 period at a roughly comparable rate. Starting at 2.3% in the first quarter of 2019 for each, the monthly turnover across employers for men and women hit a low near 1.9% in mid-2020. Subsequently, the rate neared a peak for both women (2.8%) and men (2.6%) in the third quarter of 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, the shares of men and women who had changed employers in the last month both stood at 2.5%.

The presence of children at home is also not related to the shares of men and women changing employers. In the first quarter of 2019, the monthly rates for men and women with children at home stood at 2.1% and 2.2%, respectively. In the first quarter of 2022, the rates for these two groups of parents stood at 2.3% each.

Among the major racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic and Black workers are more likely to switch employers than White and Asian workers. In 2019, 2.6% of Black workers and 2.5% of Hispanic workers moved from one employer to another on average each month, compared with 2.1% of White workers and 2.0% of Asian workers. Moreover, while the likelihood of changing employers increased among Hispanic workers from 2019 to 2022 – to 3.1% – it remained about the same among White and Asian workers.

There is also a clear pattern across workers of different levels of education. Less educated workers are more transient, with workers without a high school diploma moving across employers at a monthly rate of 3.5% in 2022, up from 2.8% in 2019. Workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education switched at a rate of 2.1%, about the same as in 2019.

Similarly, young adults (ages 16 to 24) are more likely than older workers to change employers in an average month. Young adults moved across employers at a monthly rate of 4.1% in 2019 and 4.4% in 2022. Workers nearing retirement (ages 55 to 64) moved at a rate of 1.9% in 2022.

Workers who move from one employer to another in the space of a month may experience unemployment in the interim, especially those whose departure was involuntary. Thus, one possible factor behind the patterns observed among demographic groups is how the unemployment rate varies across groups. Historically, there is little difference in the unemployment rate between men and women. However, compared with their counterparts, Black and Hispanic workers, less educated workers, and younger workers tend to experience higher rates of unemployment through all stages of the business cycle, whether through voluntary or involuntary separations from their previous jobs. As a result, relatively higher shares of these workers are on the lookout for new job opportunities at any point in time or have switched jobs from one month to the next.
Workers who changed jobs saw higher wage growth than other workers following the COVID-19 downturn

After increasing by only 1.4% from December 2019 to December 2020, U.S. consumer prices surged by 7.0% from December 2020 to December 2021. The pace has only picked up since then. As a result, the share of workers overall experiencing an increase in real earnings – over and above inflation – fell from 54% over the April 2020-March 2021 period to 47% over the April 2021-March 2022 period.

Considered another way, half of U.S. workers sampled in the April 2020-March 2021 period saw a real wage gain of 2.3% or higher, compared with the same month the year before. The other half either experienced a gain of less than 2.3% or saw their earnings decrease. But the script flipped a year later, with half of the workers experiencing a real wage loss of 1.6% or more over the April 2021- March 2022 period. Thus, the median worker in the U.S. has not fared well financially in the current inflationary environment.

However, most workers who switched employers continued to experience an increase in real earnings, and amid a surge in demand for new hires, their advantage over other workers in this respect appears to be widening.

From January to December 2020, half of the workers who changed employers in some month that year experienced a wage increase of 1.8% or more, and half of the workers who stayed put saw an increase of 2.4% or more, compared with their wages in January to December 2019. The next year, from January to December 2021, the median worker among those who changed employers saw a wage increase of 2.1%, and the median worker who did not switch employers saw a loss of 1.0%. From April 2021 to March 2022, half of the workers who changed jobs experienced a real increase of 9.7% or more over their pay a year earlier. Meanwhile, the median worker who remained in the same job experienced a loss of 1.7%.
Workers often change industry or occupation as they move from one employer to another

Wages are not all that change for workers moving across employers; many often change the industry or occupation in which they are working as they move from one employer to the next. From 2019 to 2021, about 48% of workers who changed employers also found themselves in a new industry, on average each month – a pattern undisturbed by the pandemic. Because large firms may operate in more than one industry, workers who did not change employers are not entirely lacking in this opportunity. But only about 3% of these workers moved from one industry to another in a typical month.

A similar pattern played out with respect to changes in occupation. Roughly half (49.5%) of workers who changed employers also changed occupations in an average month from 2019 to 2021. Some 4% of workers not changing employers experienced a change in occupation, an opportunity that may present itself through training or career progression within the same establishment or firm.

Overall, about 4% of all workers changed industries in an average month from 2019 to 2021. In 2021, the average rate at which workers left an industry for another in a single month varied from 2.2% in Educational Services to 5.8% in Social Services. The rates of departure from Hospitals and Other Health Services and Public Administration (about 3% or less) were also relatively low, and exits from Repair and Maintenance Services, Personal and Laundry Services/Private Household Services, and Arts and Entertainment (about 5% or higher) were relatively elevated. This general pattern was also present in 2019 and 2020.

About 5% of workers overall switched occupations in 2021. The share of workers leaving an occupation in a typical month in 2021 tended to be lower in professional occupations, such as Education, Instruction and Library Occupations and Legal Occupations (about 3% each), and relatively higher in more blue-collar jobs, such as Transportation and Material Moving, Production, and Farming, Fishing and Forestry Occupations (about 6% or higher). A similar pattern prevailed in 2019 and 2020.
Among workers who quit or lose a job one month, women are more likely than men to leave the labor force by the next month

In addition to workers who successfully transition from one employer to another within a month there are workers who are left unemployed and others who opt to leave the labor force. The latter two groups combined outnumber those moving from job to job.

From January to March 2022, about 9 million workers separated from their place of employment each month, on average. This included 3.1 million workers (34%) who were on the job with a different employer the next month. An additional 1.6 million workers (18%) were unemployed and looking for a new job, and 4.3 million (48%) had left the labor force, at least temporarily.

A similar pattern had existed in 2019 and 2021, when only about a third of workers who left employment one month were at work the next month, on average. In 2020, the year the pandemic struck and forced widespread business closures, only 23% of workers who left employment one month were at a new job within a month. About a third (33%) were still looking for a job, roughly double the shares in 2019, 2021 and 2022.

Among workers separating from employment in any given month, women are more likely than men to leave the labor force by the next month. For example, in 2021, 2.5 million women and 2.1 million men left the labor force on average each month. This represented 55% of women and 47% of men who separated from their previous place of employment.

The departure of workers from the labor force is balanced by the return or the new entry of workers into the labor force. From January to March 2022, some 2.9 million women and 2.5 million men entered the labor force each month, on average.

Overall, a greater number of women than men tend to enter or exit the labor force in an average month. To some extent, this is likely driven by the demands of childbirth. But women also generally devote more time than men to familial duties, whether caring for children or on household activities, and are more likely to adapt their careers to care for family.

Among workers with children at home who leave employment in any month, there is a significant gap between men and women in the shares that opt to leave the labor force. About half (48%) of women with children at home did so on average from January to March 2022, compared with 29% of men with children at home. Men with no children at home are also more likely than men with children at home to exit the labor force monthly. That is, in part, due to the fact that adults with no children at home are older on average, encompassing many of the workers nearing retirement age.

Among racial and ethnic groups, Asian workers leaving employment one month are less likely than other workers to still be unemployed the next month. On average from January to March 2022, only 7% of Asian workers were unemployed the month following a job separation compared with 24% of Black workers, 21% of Hispanic workers and 16% of White workers.

Workers with at a least a high school diploma are less likely to exit the labor force and more likely to be with a new employer a month after leaving a job compared with their counterparts. Among workers who did not receive a high school diploma, 60% of those who left employment one month had left the labor force by the next month and only 21% were reemployed. On the other hand, among workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, 43% were reemployed the next month, about the same as the share (44%) that left the labor force.

Not surprisingly, a large share (77%) of workers ages 65 and older – the traditional retirement age bracket – exit the labor force monthly. About half of young adult workers (ages 16 to 24) and those nearing retirement (ages 55 to 64) also exit the labor force monthly upon separation from employment. Among adults in the prime of their working years (ages 25 to 54), 38% to 44% are reemployed within a month, about the same as the share that step away from the labor force.
Roughly one-in five workers say they’re likely to look for a new job in the next six months

While most workers have no near-term plans to leave their jobs, 22% say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. Most (64%) say they are very or somewhat unlikely to look for a new job in the coming months.

Workers who have been with their employer for less than a year are significantly more likely than those who’ve been in their current job longer to say they’re likely to look for a new job in the next six months. About a third (32%) of those who’ve been in their job for less than a year say this, including 20% who say they are very likely to seek a new job. Among those who’ve been with their current employer between one and 10 years, 23% say they’re very or somewhat likely to look for a new job; 13% who’ve been in their job longer say the same.

The likelihood of changing jobs in the near future also differs across key demographic groups. Higher shares of Black (28%) and Hispanic (30%) workers, compared with White workers (19%), say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. About a quarter of Asian workers (24%) say the same. And younger workers are more likely than middle-aged and older workers to say this: 30% of workers ages 18 to 29 say they are likely to look for a new job in the next six months, compared with 23% of workers ages 30 to 49, 17% of those ages 50 to 64 and 11% of those 65 and older. This is related to the fact that younger workers are by far the most likely to have been with their current employer for less than a year.

The share who say they are likely to look for a new job in the coming months does not differ significantly by educational attainment.

Workers who are more downbeat about their own financial situation are more likely to say they may make a job change. Among those who describe their current financial situation as only fair or poor, 29% say they are likely to look for a new job in the next six months. Only 15% of those who rate their financial situation as excellent or good say the same.
Roughly four-in-ten workers say it would be easy to find a new job if they looked today

Workers are split over how easy or difficult it would be for them to get the kind of job they’d want if they were to look for a new job today. About four-in-ten (39%) say it would be very or somewhat easy, while a similar share (37%) say it would be very or somewhat difficult. About a quarter (23%) say it would be neither easy nor difficult for them to get the kind of job they want if they were looking right now.

Workers who aren’t actually intending to look for a new job soon are more likely than those who are to say it would be easy for them to find one. Among those who say it’s unlikely they will look for a job in the next six months, 43% say it would be easy for them to get the kind of job they want if they were looking today. Among those who say they are likely to look for another job soon, 32% say the same.

Upper-income workers are significantly more likely than middle- and lower-income workers to say they’d have an easy time finding a job if they were looking today. Fully half of upper-income workers say it would be easy for them to find the kind of job they wanted, compared with 38% of middle-income workers and 34% of those with lower incomes.3
Perceived job security is linked with likelihood of looking for a new job

Most workers feel they have at least a fair amount of job security in their current position. About a third (35%) say they have a great deal of job security, and a similar share (34%) say they have a fair amount. Smaller shares say they have some (16%) or a little (9%) job security, and 6% say they have none at all.

Job security is more tenuous for those workers who say they’re likely to look for a new job in the next six months. Only 22% of these workers say they have a great deal of job security in their current position. By contrast, among those who say it’s unlikely they’d look for a job in the coming months, 43% say they have a great deal of security in their current job.

Workers who’ve been with their current employer for 10 years or longer are among the most likely to say they have a great deal of job security: 46% say this, compared with about a third (32%) of those who’ve been with their employer between one and 10 years and 26% who’ve been with their employer less than a year. There are wide differences by income as well: 51% of upper-income workers say they have a great deal of job security, compared with 35% of middle-income workers and 25% of those with lower incomes.

viernes, 22 de julio de 2022

How the American middle class has changed in the past five decades


Rubén Weinsteiner


The middle class, once the economic stratum of a clear majority of American adults, has steadily contracted in the past five decades. The share of adults who live in middle-class households fell from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

 

The shrinking of the middle class has been accompanied by an increase in the share of adults in the upper-income tier – from 14% in 1971 to 21% in 2021 – as well as an increase in the share who are in the lower-income tier, from 25% to 29%. These changes have occurred gradually, as the share of adults in the middle class decreased in each decade from 1971 to 2011, but then held steady through 2021.

The analysis below presents seven facts about how the economic status of the U.S. middle class and that of America’s major demographic groups have changed since 1971. A related analysis examines the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the financial well-being of households in the lower-, middle- and upper-income tiers, with comparisons to the Great Recession era. (In the source data for both analyses, demographic figures refer to the 1971-2021 period, while income figures refer to the 1970-2020 period. Thus, the shares of adults in an income tier are based on their household incomes in the previous year.)


How we did this


This report analyzes data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey (CPS) to study how the economic status of the American middle class has changed since 1971. It also examines the movement of demographic groups in and out of the American middle class and across lower- and upper-income tiers from 1971 to 2021.

The CPS is the U.S. government’s official source for monthly estimates of unemployment; the ASEC, conducted in March each year, is the official source for its estimates of income and poverty. The COVID-19 outbreak has affected data collection efforts by the U.S. government in its surveys, limiting in-person data collection and affecting the response rate. It is possible that some measures of economic outcomes and how they vary across demographic groups are affected by these changes in data collection. This report makes use of updated weights released by the Census Bureau to correct for nonresponse in 2019, 2020 and 2021.


Who is middle income or middle class?


In this analysis, “middle-income” adults in 2021 are those with an annual household income that was two-thirds to double the national median income in 2020, after incomes have been adjusted for household size, or about $52,000 to $156,000 annually in 2020 dollars for a household of three. “Lower-income” adults have household incomes less than $52,000 and “upper-income” adults have household incomes greater than $156,000.

The income it takes to be middle income varies by household size, with smaller households requiring less to support the same lifestyle as larger households. The boundaries of the income tiers also vary across years with changes in the national median income. Read the methodology for more details.

The terms “middle income” and “middle class” are used interchangeably in this analysis for the sake of exposition. But being middle class can refer to more than just income, be it the level of education, the type of profession, economic security, home ownership, or one’s social and political values. Class also could simply be a matter of self-identification.

Household incomes have risen considerably since 1970, but those of middle-class households have not climbed nearly as much as those of upper-income households. The median income of middle-class households in 2020 was 50% greater than in 1970 ($90,131 vs. $59,934), as measured in 2020 dollars. These gains were realized slowly, but for the most part steadily, with the exception of the period from 2000 to 2010, the so-called “lost decade,” when incomes fell across the board.

The median income for lower-income households grew more slowly than that of middle-class households, increasing from $20,604 in 1970 to $29,963 in 2020, or 45%.

The rise in income from 1970 to 2020 was steepest for upper-income households. Their median income increased 69% during that timespan, from $130,008 to $219,572.

As a result of these changes, the gap in the incomes of upper-income and other households also increased. In 2020, the median income of upper-income households was 7.3 times that of lower-income households, up from 6.3 in 1970. The median income of upper-income households was 2.4 times that of middle-income households in 2020, up from 2.2 in 1970.

The share of aggregate U.S. household income held by the middle class has fallen steadily since 1970. The widening of the income gap and the shrinking of the middle class has led to a steady decrease in the share of U.S. aggregate income held by middle-class households. In 1970, adults in middle-income households accounted for 62% of aggregate income, a share that fell to 42% in 2020.

Meanwhile, the share of aggregate income accounted for by upper-income households has increased steadily, from 29% in 1970 to 50% in 2020. Part of this increase reflects the rising share of adults who are in the upper-income tier.

The share of U.S. aggregate income held by lower-income households edged down from 10% to 8% over these five decades, even though the proportion of adults living in lower-income households increased over this period.

Older Americans and Black adults made the greatest progress up the income ladder from 1971 to 2021. Among adults overall, the share who were in the upper-income tier increased from 14% in 1971 to 21% in 2021, or by 7 percentage points. Meanwhile, the share in the lower-income tier increased from 25% to 29%, or by 4 points. On balance, this represented a net gain of 3 percentage points in income status for all adults.

Those ages 65 and older made the most notable progress up the income ladder from 1971 to 2021. They increased their share in the upper-income tier while reducing their share in the lower-income tier, resulting in a net gain of 25 points. Progress among adults 65 and older was likely driven by an increase in labor force participation, rising educational levels and by the role of Social Security payments in reducing poverty.

Black adults, as well as married men and women, were also among the biggest gainers from 1971 to 2021, with net increases ranging from 12 to 14 percentage points.

On the other hand, not having at least a bachelor’s degree resulted in a notable degree of economic regression over this period. Adults with a high school diploma or less education, as well as those with some college experience but no degree, saw sizable increases in their shares in the lower-income tier in the past five decades. Although no single group of adults by education category moved up the income ladder from 1971 to 2021, adults overall realized gains by boosting their education levels. The share of adults 25 and older who had completed at least four years of college stood at 38% in 2021, compared with only 11% in 1971.

Progress up the income ladder for a demographic group does not necessarily signal its economic status in comparison with other groups at a given point in time. For example, in 2021, adults ages 65 and older and Black adults were still more likely than many other groups to be lower income, and less likely to be middle or upper income.

Married adults and those in multi-earner households made more progress up the income ladder from 1971 to 2021 than their immediate counterparts. Generally, partnered adults have better outcomes on a range of economic outcomes than the unpartnered. One reason is that marriage is increasingly linked to educational attainment, which bears fruit in terms of higher incomes.

Married men and women were distributed across the income tiers identically to each other in both 1971 and 2021. Both groups nearly doubled their shares in the upper-income tier in the past five decades, from 14% in 1971 to 27% in 2021. And neither group experienced an increase in the share in the lower-income tier.

Unmarried men and women were much more likely than their married counterparts to be in the lower-income tier in 2021. And unmarried men, in particular, experienced a sizable increase in their share in the lower-income tier from 1971 t0 2021 and a similarly large decrease in their share in the middle-income tier. Nonetheless, unmarried men are less likely than unmarried women to be lower income and more likely to be middle income.

Adults in households with more than one earner fare much better economically than adults in households with only one earner. In 2021, some 20% of adults in multi-earner households were in the lower-income tier, compared with 53% of adults in single-earner households. Also, adults in multi-earner households were more than twice as likely as adults in single-earner households to be in the upper-income tier in 2021. In the long haul, adults in single-earner households are among the groups who slid down the income ladder the most from 1971 to 2021.

Despite progress, Black and Hispanic adults trail behind other groups in their economic status. Although Black adults made some of the biggest strides up the income tiers from 1971 to 2021, they, along with Hispanic adults, are more likely to be in the lower-income tier than are White or Asian adults. About 40% of both Black and Hispanic adults were lower income in 2021, compared with 24% of White adults and 22% of Asian adults.

Black adults are the only major racial and ethnic group that did not experience a decrease in its middle-class share, which stood at 47% in 2021, about the same as in 1971. White adults are the only group in which more than half (52%) lived in middle-class households in 2021, albeit after declining from 63% in 1971. At the top end, only about one-in-ten Black and Hispanic adults were upper income in 2021, compared with one-in-four or more White and Asian adults.

The relative economic status of men and women has changed little from 1971 to 2021. Both experienced similar percentage point increases in the shares in the lower- and upper-income tiers, and both saw double-digit decreases in the shares who are middle class. Women remained more likely than men to live in lower-income households in 2021 (31% vs. 26%).

Adults 65 and older continue to lag economically, despite decades of progress. The share of adults ages 65 and older in the lower-income tier fell from 54% in 1971 to 37% in 2021. Their share in the middle class rose from 39% to 47% and their share in the upper-income tier increased from 7% to 16%. However, adults 65 and older are the only age group in which more than one-in-three adults are in lower-income households, and they are much less likely than adults ages 30 to 44 – as well as those ages 45 to 64 – to be in the upper-income tier.

All other age groups experienced an increase in the shares who are lower income from 1971 to 2021, as well as a decrease in the shares who are middle income. But they also saw increases in the shares who are upper income. Among adults ages 30 to 44, for instance, the share in upper-income households almost doubled, from 12% in 1971 to 21% in 2021.

There is a sizable and growing income gap between adults with a bachelor’s degree and those with lower levels of education. In 2021, about four-in-ten adults with at least a bachelor’s degree (39%) were in the upper-income tier, compared with 16% or less among those without a bachelor’s degree. The share of adults in the upper-income tier with at least a bachelor’s degree edged up from 1971 to 2021, while the share without a bachelor’s degree either edged down or held constant.

About half or a little more of adults with either some college education or a high school diploma only were in the middle class in 2021. But these two groups, along with those with less than a high school education, experienced notable drops in their middle class shares from 1971 to 2021 – and notable increases in the shares in the lower-income tier. In 2021, about four-in-ten adults with only a high school diploma or its equivalent (39%) were in the lower-income tier, about double the share in 1971.

domingo, 3 de julio de 2022

Youth vote and approval ratings of the Biden administration

 


Rubén Weinsteiner


Youth turnout in 2022 currently tracking record-breaking 2018 turnout; 55% of likely voters prefer Democratic control of Congress, 34% prefer Republican control. A majority disapprove of both parties’ performance in Congress amid weakening feelings of political efficacy

More than six months out, youth turnout in 2022 midterm elections is on track to match 2018 turnout, with 36% of young Americans reporting that they will “definitely” be voting compared to 37% at this stage in 2018.


Compared with Spring 2018 Harvard IOP polling, the composition of the electorate looks different. Young Democrats (38% of 18–29-year-olds) are less likely (-5 points) and young Republicans (25% of 18-29-year-olds) are more likely (+7) to vote at this stage. While interest among white and Hispanic voters did not change significantly, young Asian American and Pacific Islander voters show increased interest (+13), while young Black Americans show significantly less interest in voting (-13) than they did at this point in the 2018 midterm election cycle.


Overall, 40% of Americans under 30 prefer Democrats maintain control of Congress, while 28% prefer Republicans; 32% are unsure. This +12-point margin for Democrats widens to +21 when the lens is narrowed to likely voters. Among likely voters who are unaffiliated or independent, Democrats lead +14, with more than a quarter (27%) undecided.


A warning sign that interest in voting in the 2022 midterms could wane, we found a sharp decrease relative to Spring 2018 in attitudes related to the efficacy of voting and political engagement relative. For example:

The percentage of youth agreeing that “political involvement rarely has any tangible results” has risen from 22% in 2018 to 36% in 2022.


Agreement with the statement “I don’t believe my vote will make a real difference,” increased from 31% in 2018 to 42% in 2022.


Agreement that “politics today are no longer able to meet the challenges our country is facing,” increased from 45% in 2018 to 56% in 2022.


2. 41% of young Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance overall; A majority (52%) approve of his handling of the pandemic, 46% approve of his performance regarding Ukraine –​ but only one-in-three approve of how the President is handling the economy (34%)

At 41%, President Biden’s job approval among young Americans is down 18 percentage points since Spring 2021 (59%) and five points since the last Harvard IOP youth poll release in Fall 2021 (46%). Seventy percent (70%) of young Democrats now approve of President Biden’s job performance (-5 since Fall 2021), as compared to 33% of independents (-6) and 11% of Republicans (+2). For comparison, President Trump’s approval was 25% at this stage in the 2018 midterm cycle and President Obama’s approval was 56% in the Spring of 2010.


The leading reason cited for disapproval of Biden is “ineffectiveness” (36%), which leads other options provided to respondents such as “not following through on campaign promises” (14%) and “not sharing my values” (10%).


Nearly half (49%) of young Americans believe that things in the nation are off on the wrong track, with only 13% saying they are headed in the right direction. This stands in contrast to the Spring 2021 survey where about one-third (35%) believed things were headed off on the wrong track, and 26% said right direction.


Two-in-five (40%) young Democrats indicate they want to see and hear more from President Biden, compared to 21% of Republicans and 18% of independents who say the same.

 Half of young Americans believe the GOP cares more about “the interests of the elite” than for people like them (21%); a plurality (39%) say the same about Democrats; 3-in-5 see the other party as a threat to democracy

Forty percent (40%) of young Americans approve of the job performance of Democrats in Congress, 31% approve of the job that Republicans are doing in Congress. These ratings are virtually unchanged since the Fall 2021 survey (Democrats -2, Republicans even).


By a double-digit margin (-11), young Americans believe the Democratic party cares more about serving the interests of the elite (39%) than young people like them (28%). Among likely voters in the Fall midterm, the margin is -10, and it swells to -25 among likely voters who are white, -19 among likely male voters, and -17 among likely voters without a college degree or experience.


Current perceptions of the Republican party are more negative as 51% of young Americans under 30 believe the GOP cares more about the elite than serving the interests of people like them (21%). This -30-point margin is triple the Democratic party’s deficit and rises to -38 among likely voters. Across every major demographic subgroup, more youth believe Republicans favor the elite. Among likely young voters who are men, the margin is -27, among women it is -55, and among likely white voters the margin is -34.


The survey found that 59% of young Democrats and 61% of young Republicans see the other party as a threat to democracy. Among likely voters, 74% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans saw the other party as a threat to democracy.


In an open-ended question about which part of their identity they consider most when voting, we found notable differences between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are more likely to consider gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual identity, while Republicans are more likely to consider religion, faith, political and party preferences when voting.

Young Americans, across demographic and partisan divides, are overwhelmingly comfortable with a close friend coming out as LGBTQ; steady support charted for more than a decade

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of young Americans report they are either “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with a close friend coming out as LGBTQ. The poll finds that 84% of Democrats, 53% of Republicans and 74% of independents are comfortable, as are 68% of males, 76% of females, 72% of young Catholics, and 61% of young Evangelical or Fundamentalist Christians.


The poll also found widespread support of close friends who are transitioning and for the use of they/them pronouns, but strong partisan divides emerge:

61% of young Americans are comfortable with a close friend transitioning from one gender to another (77% Democrat, 33% Republican, 64% independent);


56% of young Americans are comfortable with using they/them pronouns (73% Democrat, 32% Republican, 54% independent); and


46% are comfortable with transgender athletes participating in sports (65% Democrat, 20% Republican, 44% independent).


Over the last decade, overall acceptance for same-sex relationships has increased significantly among young Americans. In 2011, a quarter (25%) indicated such relationships were morally wrong, 42% disagreed, while 29% were unsure (net difference 17 points). Now, more than a decade later, we found that 23% find them morally wrong, with 52% disagreeing with this viewpoint (and 24% unsure), which indicates growing support for LGBTQ-identifying peers (net difference 29).

Despite growing acceptance of LGBTQ-identifying youth, nearly half (45%) of LGBTQ youth feel under attack “a lot” because of their sexual orientation and are nearly three times as likely as straight youth (LGBTQ: 28%, Straight: 11%) to be uncomfortable expressing their identity and true self with family.

About one-in-five young 18-to-29-year-olds identify as LGBTQ (21%) – of which 45% report feeling under “a lot” of attack in America because of their sexual orientation. Of the 79% of straight-identifying youth in our poll, nearly one-fifth (18%) feel under “a lot” of attack for similar reasons.


Only about one-third (34%) of LGBTQ youth feel “very comfortable” expressing their true selves with family, while 61% of straight youth feel the same way; another 36% of LGBTQ youth and 24% of straight youth say they feel “somewhat comfortable.” Time with family represents the only major difference between LGBTQ and straight youth on a battery of questions that probed other personal and professional areas. For example:

60% of LGBTQ youth and 55% of straight youth are very comfortable expressing their identity with friends;


32% of LGBTQ youth and 29% of straight youth are very comfortable expressing their identity at school;


30% of LGBTQ youth and 22% of straight youth are very comfortable expressing their identity on social media;


25% of LGBTQ youth and 31% of straight youth are very comfortable expressing their identity at work.


When the same battery of questions is filtered through political party, we find young Republicans (68%) are more likely than Democrats (53%) to feel “very comfortable” expressing their identity with family, but no other partisan differences emerge when asked about friends, social media, school, or work.

 Large proportions of minority groups in the United States – representing race, religion, politics, and sexuality – feel under attack in America

Three-fifths (59%) of young Black Americans believe people of their racial background are under “a lot” of attack in America, 43% of AAPI youth, 37% of Hispanics, and 19% of whites feel the same. Compared to Spring 2017, the percent of young Blacks who feel under “a lot” of attack for their race has stayed relatively constant (2017: 62%), and for young Hispanics, the proportion who felt under “a lot” of attack for their race decreased from 46% to 37%.


Despite small sample sizes, we find that young Muslims, Jews, and Evangelical Christians are more likely to say people with their religious beliefs are under attack “a lot” when compared to Protestants and Catholics.


As noted above, 45% of LGBTQ-identifying youth feel like people with their sexual orientation are under attack “a lot.”


Nearly half of young Republicans (46%) believe that people who hold their political views are under attack “a lot” in America, compared to 24% of Democrats who feel the same way.

Second to the economy, young Americans rank education as more important to America’s future global strength than the military, technology, or democracy; still, only one-third (34%) are satisfied with the current state of K-12 public education

Overall, 50% of young Americans ranked education as one of the two most important factors to America’s global strength in the future; fewer Republicans (39%) rated education as one of the top two factors than Democrats (54%); Democrats ranked education first among all factors, including above the economy.


While only 34% of 18-to-29-year-olds express satisfaction with the public education system, 57% were satisfied with the quality of their own K-12 education. Satisfaction tracked closely with higher educational attainment, with 67% of college graduates reporting satisfaction versus 51% of those with high school degrees only. Additionally, we found that registered voters (62%) were more satisfied with their education than others (48%), as were those living in suburbs (61%) compared to urban (55%), small town (55%) and rural (52%) residents.


A strong majority (58%) of young Americans believe that “K-12 public schools should teach what is morally right and wrong,” and only 13% disagreed (28% neither agreed nor disagreed) with almost no variation across demographic, educational, or party lines. For example, 62% of young Americans who voted for Joe Biden agreed with that sentiment compared to 61% of Trump voters.
By 2-to-1 margins, young Americans are supportive of greater parental control over education and candidates that support teaching K-12 students that racism – intentional or not – is a fixture of American laws and institutions

Nearly half of young Americans (46%) agree with the statement that “parents should have more control over their children’s education than they do now,” while 23% disagreed. While Democrats are slightly more likely to agree (35%) than disagree, (31%) one-third (33%) chose the “neither agree nor disagree” option. Support for greater parental involvement is overwhelming for Republicans (64% agree, 14% disagree) and strong for independent and unaffiliated young voters (44% agree, 20% disagree) as well.


Approximately half of the survey respondents were asked their level of agreement with the statement that they “would vote for a candidate who supports K-12 public schools teaching that racism – intentional or not – is a fixture of American laws and institutions,” while the other half were asked about agreement with “I would vote for a candidate who supports K-12 public schools teaching critical race theory. In both cases, support for teaching about systemic racism was 2:1 (46%-22% when critical race theory was not mentioned and 44%-22% with critical race theory mentioned).


Regardless of question-wording, young white voters supported teaching K-12 students about the history of race in America. The divides among parties were prominent: 70% of Democrats under 30 were supportive of candidates who support teaching that racism is a fixture of American laws and institutions, compared to 23% of Republicans and a plurality of independents (37%). Support for candidates in favor of teaching “critical race theory” without a further definition: Democrats 63%, Republicans 22%, independents 38%.

 85% of young Americans favor some form of government action on student loan debt, but only 38% favor total debt cancellation

Though nearly nine-in-ten young Americans under 30 agree that action is needed, young Americans had no clear consensus on a path forward related to student loan debt. A plurality favors full debt cancellation (38%), while 27% favor government assisting with repayment options without any debt cancellation, and 21% favor debt cancellation for those with the most need. Only 13% believe the government should not change current policy. Since 2020, support for full cancellation increased 5 percentage points, while preference for the government helping with repayment decreased 8 points.


Opinions on this issue do not differ significantly among likely voters in the 2022 midterms compared to the broader population of 18-to-29-year-olds as 83% of young likely voters express a preference for government action, including 79% of those not in college now, and without a degree.


Among Democrats likely to vote in November:

43% favor canceling student loan debt for everyone


29% favor canceling student loan debt for only those most in need


19% favor not canceling debt, but helping with repayment options


4% favor not changing the current policy


For Republicans likely to vote in November:

13% favor canceling student loan debt for everyone


11% favor canceling student loan debt for only those most in need


39% favor not canceling debt, but helping with repayment options


36% favor not changing the current policy


For independents likely to vote in November:

38% favor canceling student loan debt for everyone


18% favor canceling student loan debt for only those most in need


30% favor not canceling debt, but helping with repayment options


14% favor not changing the current policy


A majority (54%) of white Americans and 49% of Asian Americans under 30 “strongly” agreed with the statement “I grew up thinking it was possible for me to go to college,” compared to only 32% of Blacks and 38% of Hispanics under 30. Overall, 47% of all young Americans strongly agreed with the statement, while an additional 23% somewhat agreed (total agreement 71% with rounding).


Asked whether they agree with the statement, “Going to college is worth the time and money,” we find 48% of young Americans agreed (but only 18% strongly agreed), 26% disagreed, and 24% chose a neutral position. Sixty-two percent (62%) of college students and 61% of college graduates agree with this sentiment.
About half (51%) of young Americans with recent thoughts of self-harm and 61% of those with depression indicate they have support or resources to help them deal; significant differences exist based on race

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of whites suffering from thoughts of self-harm have access to support or resources, while only 40% of Blacks say the same.


Among those suffering from bouts of depression or hopelessness, 61% say they have access to support, but that number dips to 48% for Blacks, compared to 68% of young whites.


When young Americans suffering from depression or hopelessness were asked their interest in several potential support services and resources, we found the most interest in spending time outside (50% interested), support of family and friends (47%), and sports or exercise (43%). Additionally, we found that nearly two-fifths (38%) were interested in professional therapy, followed by meditation (29%), prescription medication (26%), church or religion (18%), alcohol or recreational drugs (18%), and support by authority figures (8%).


12. Nearly half of young Americans report that politics and news media have had negative impacts on their mental health; feelings about school and work are more positive

Nearly half of 18-to-29-year-olds (45%) report that politics has had a negative impact on their mental health and only 13% report a positive impact. Among those who identify as LGBTQ, the rate is nearly two-thirds (64%), while 42% for straight youth. Young Americans who do not identify with a major party are more likely than others (17% independent, 12% Democrat, 11% Republican) to say that politics has had a very negative impact on their mental health.


Similarly, 46% report that the news media have a negative impact on their mental health.


Nearly two-in-five (37%) report that social media has a negative impact on their mental health, while 22% report a positive impact and 39% report no effect. There is no statistical difference based on age, but we found that young women (42%) were somewhat more likely to cite negative mental health effects of social media than young men (35%).


On the other hand, 45% report that work has had a positive impact on their mental health and only 21% report a negative impact. The fact that over three-quarters of young Americans find that work does not have a negative impact on their mental health accords with a finding from the Fall 2021 survey, in which 72% of respondents said that, outside of compensation, they find “some” or “a lot” of meaning in their work.


High school experience, while nearly as likely to have a positive impact, is more polarizing: 42% report that school has had a positive impact but 34% report that it has had a negative one.


About half (51%) of young Americans with recent thoughts of self-harm and 61% of those with depression indicate they have support or resources to help them deal; significant differences exist based on race

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of whites suffering from thoughts of self-harm have access to support or resources, while only 40% of Blacks say the same.


Among those suffering from bouts of depression or hopelessness, 61% say they have access to support, but that number dips to 48% for Blacks, compared to 68% of young whites.


When young Americans suffering from depression or hopelessness were asked their interest in several potential support services and resources, we found the most interest in spending time outside (50% interested), support of family and friends (47%), and sports or exercise (43%). Additionally, we found that nearly two-fifths (38%) were interested in professional therapy, followed by meditation (29%), prescription medication (26%), church or religion (18%), alcohol or recreational drugs (18%), and support by authority figures (8%).


12. Nearly half of young Americans report that politics and news media have had negative impacts on their mental health; feelings about school and work are more positive

Nearly half of 18-to-29-year-olds (45%) report that politics has had a negative impact on their mental health and only 13% report a positive impact. Among those who identify as LGBTQ, the rate is nearly two-thirds (64%), while 42% for straight youth. Young Americans who do not identify with a major party are more likely than others (17% independent, 12% Democrat, 11% Republican) to say that politics has had a very negative impact on their mental health.


Similarly, 46% report that the news media have a negative impact on their mental health.


Nearly two-in-five (37%) report that social media has a negative impact on their mental health, while 22% report a positive impact and 39% report no effect. There is no statistical difference based on age, but we found that young women (42%) were somewhat more likely to cite negative mental health effects of social media than young men (35%).


On the other hand, 45% report that work has had a positive impact on their mental health and only 21% report a negative impact. The fact that over three-quarters of young Americans find that work does not have a negative impact on their mental health accords with a finding from the Fall 2021 survey, in which 72% of respondents said that, outside of compensation, they find “some” or “a lot” of meaning in their work.


High school experience, while nearly as likely to have a positive impact, is more polarizing: 42% report that school has had a positive impact but 34% report that it has had a negative one.


 

Rubén Weinsteiner