Policy & Politics

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Ohioans See Economic Trouble Ahead for Next Generation

Published May. 8, 2009

Cincinnati, OH--Forty-six percent of Ohio adults see the next generation of working adults as being worse off economically than the current generation of workers. Thirty percent of Ohioans say their household has experienced a layoff or job loss during the past 12 months.

These findings are based on the latest Ohio Poll, conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. The Ohio Poll is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati. The Poll was conducted between April 16 and April 27, 2009.

OHIOANS PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE “AMERICAN DREAM”

The current economic crisis has caused many to reflect on the economy and about one aspect of the “American Dream,” where each generation ideally experiences better economic fortunes than the one preceding it. The latest Ohio Poll asked Ohio adults about their generation’s economic fortunes and those of the next generation, who are children today, but will one day become American workers. The poll found a majority of Ohioans pessimistic about their current economic conditions when compared to their parents, and that a majority say the next generation of working adults will be “worse off” than the generation working today.

Ohio adults were first asked to compare their parents’ generation economically to the current generation of working adults. Fifty-seven percent of Ohioans say their parents’ generation was economically “better off” than the current generation, 16 percent say “worse off” and 25 percent say “about the same.”

Ohioans were also asked whether they felt the next generation of American workers, who are children today, would be economically better off, worse off or about the same as the current generation of working adults. Forty-six percent of Ohioans say the next generation will be “worse off” economically, 20 percent say “better off” and 33 percent say “about the same.”

Ohio residents were also asked a series of questions about their experiences in the current economy.

THIRTY PERCENT OF OHIOANS SAY HOUSEHOLD IMPACTED BY JOB LOSS …

Ohioans were asked if their household had experienced job loss during the past 12 months. Thirty percent of Ohioans say they or another member of their household has been laid off or lost their job, while 70 percent have not experienced job loss in their household during the past year.

While only 16 percent of college graduates report living in a household where job loss has occurred during the last year, residents with some college education but not a degree (27%), those whose highest level of education was a high school degree (35%) and those who did not complete high school (43%) are more likely to report living in a household that has experienced job loss.

…WHILE PORTIONS OF OHIO WORKFORCE SEE CHANGES TO PAY, BENEFITS OR WORK STATUS AHEAD

Businesses in Ohio and nationally have explored a range of options, from temporary shutdowns to reductions of pay and benefits to layoffs, in order to adjust to current economic conditions.  Ohioans who are currently employed were asked a series of questions about their current job, and the likelihood that their employer will introduce changes to their paycheck, benefits or work status during the
next year.  About one-third of Ohio workers see the possibility of changes ahead to either their benefits or their
paycheck:
• Thirty-one percent of Ohio workers say it is likely (either “very likely” or “somewhat likely”) that their retirement benefits will be reduced or eliminated by their employer;
• Thirty percent say it is likely they will be asked to take a cut in pay; and
• Twenty-nine percent say it is likely their health care benefits will be reduced or eliminated by their employer.

About one in five Ohio workers see the possibility of changes ahead to their work status:
• Twenty-two percent say it is likely their employer will temporarily shut down for a week or more;
and
• Nineteen percent say it is likely they will be laid off.

Women are more likely than men to see a possibility that either their health care benefits will be reduced or eliminated by their employer (34% women, 24% men) or that they will be laid off (25% women, 14% men)

For more information about The Ohio Poll and/or to read the methodology, click here.



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