Americans and likely voters consider inflation to be a bigger problem than jobs

Linley SandersData Journalist
October 28, 2022, 9:24 PM GMT+0

The issue of inflation and prices looms large over this year’s election, with one in four likely voters (25%) naming it as the most important issue to them, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. A majority of likely voters (56%) say they have been personally affected “a lot” by high inflation, and that group says they will vote Republican in their local House race by a margin of 56% to 37%.

More Americans are concerned about the issues of prices than are concerned about the issue of unemployment, even amid recent news about layoffs in the technology and media sectors. The issue of prices is followed in importance by climate change (13%), health care (9%), abortion (9%), and government spending. The issue of jobs and the economy trails far behind — most important for 7% of likely voters, the sixth spot out of a list of 15 issues asked about.

The low standing of the issue of jobs and the economy among top American priorities comes even though 29% of Americans have had personal family experience with joblessness this year — either having been laid off themselves or having a family member or close friend who was laid off. Majorities of Americans (57%) and likely voters (69%) see inflation as a more important problem in the country than unemployment (4%). Even among people who know someone who was laid off this year or were laid off themselves, inflation still beats unemployment by a margin of 52% to 7%.

In the Economist/YouGov poll that was conducted October 22 - 25 — prior to the Thursday report from the Commerce Department that showed U.S. GDP grew in the third quarter of 2022 — 58% of Americans said that they believe the U.S. is in an economic recession. That level of belief has remained stable since August, with small fluctuations from week to week. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) and an even greater share of likely voters (79%) describe the current U.S. economy as poor or fair.

Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on October 22 - 25, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Adobe Stock (Sergii)