Are You Caught in the Slump?

Compared to the responses we got in April to these same questions, seems like the effects of the slump are spreading

If the economy seems like it's running on idle, maybe that's because consumers feel the same way. In fact, our June 21 Reader Survey seemed to find readers in a darker mood than when we asked a number of the same questions on Apr. 17.

Of the 1,000-plus readers who responded to the latest survey -- which isn't a scientific poll, since anyone who wishes to can participate -- nearly 52% said they're doing O.K. financially, vs. 49.5% back in April.

From there, though, the news gets worse. Some 27% of those who answered the June survey said they're in distress financially, vs. only 15% in April. Perhaps that's because 65% said they don't expect a pay raise this year, vs. 50% who had that expectation in April.

The percentage of people who feel that their jobs are "very secure" also fell -- to 20% in the latest survey, from 42% in the earlier one. Some 36% think the economy will be on the way to recovery six months from now -- but that's down from 53% who felt that way in April. Some 45% of those who responded to the June survey think the economy will still be struggling six months from now, vs. the 31% who felt that way in April.

Nearly 60% said they're less optimistic about their financial situation than they were six months ago, though 17% are more optimistic, and 21% are as optimistic.

Here are the detailed results:

How are you doing financially?

Option Total %  
I'm in distress 273 26.61 %
I'm O.K., assuming no sudden reduction in income 532 51.85 %
I'm in good shape, with plenty of cushion 181 17.64 %
Not sure 40 3.90 %

Do you expect to receive a pay raise this year?

Option Total %  
Yes 236 23.09 %
No 664 64.97 %
Not sure 122 11.94 %

How secure is your job?

Option Total %  
Very secure 201 19.78 %
Somewhat secure 323 31.79 %
Somewhat insecure 156 15.35 %
Very insecure 97 9.55 %
I'm unemployed 198 19.49 %
Not sure 41 4.04 %

Six months from now, where do you think the economy will be?

Option Total %  
Fully recovered 39 3.79 %
On the way to recovery 374 36.31 %
Struggling 465 45.15 %
Worse than it is now 100 9.71 %
Not sure 52 5.05 %

On balance, are you more optimistic -- or less -- about your individual financial situation than you were six months ago?

Option Total %  
More 173 16.78 %
Less 615 59.65 %
No change 215 20.85 %
Not sure 28 2.72 %
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