Most Americans Doubt Their Children Will Be Better Off, WSJ-NORC Poll Finds

Janet Adams:

“No matter how much they increase your pay, everything else is going up,” said Kristy Morrow, a coordinator for a hospital who lives in Big Spring, Texas. “I do fear that for the kids.”

Which of the following best describes your financial situation?
My finances are in better condition than I expected for this stage in my life
In worse condition than I expected
About where I expected

Ms. Morrow, 37, said she’s concerned her children will be worse off because deep divisions in America have left people unable to fix the country’s problems. The single mother of two young boys and an adult daughter, who earns about $45,000 a year, said she traded her Chevrolet Tahoe for a GMC Terrain to lower her gas costs and is teaching her boys the importance of spending money on needs, not wants.

The findings showed fresh anxiety about the strength of the job market, which was a rare point of economic optimism as recently as last year. More than half of respondents said it wouldn’t be easy to find another job with comparable pay and benefits. That was the highest level since 2010, according to NORC’s General Social Survey.

Recent economic data show the labor market is strong despite job-cut announcements from large technology companies. Employers added more than 800,000 jobs in the first two months of the year and the unemployment rate is trending near a half-century low. Available jobs exceed the number of unemployed Americans seeking work and a broad gauge of layoffs is holding at low levels.