Poll finds high job-loss fears

WASHINGTON — Fears are mounting about losing a job, not having enough money to pay the bills and evaporating retirement accounts, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday. Nearly half of those surveyed said they worry about becoming jobless — almost double last year's number.

Nearly half of those questioned, 47 percent, worry at least somewhat about losing a job, up from 28 percent in February 2008. Nearly three-fourths, or 71 percent, say they know someone — a friend or relative — who has lost a job in the past six months because of the economy.

Support for the economic stimulus plan, which President Obama signed into law on Tuesday, slipped to 52 percent, down from 55 percent last month.

Winkler said he wasn't confident the program would create jobs, and that those it does create will be low-paying.

"Until we can somehow keep jobs here and create actual real paying jobs, not Wal-Mart greeter jobs, those things won't work," he said.

Risa Stoller-Black, a 24-year-old married homemaker from Wapato, Wash., said the stimulus package would create jobs.

"I don't see how it couldn't, if there's money to employ people," said Stoller-Black, who has a 4-year-old daughter. She said "it's just disappointing that we have to get to this point in the first place."

Two days shy of a full month as president, Obama's approval rating stood at 67 percent, a slight dip from the 74 percent he received before his Jan. 20 inauguration. By comparison, just 31 percent approved of Congress' job performance, up seven points from December.

In other findings:

—Nearly two-thirds, or 62 percent, think Obama is making about the right amount of effort to cooperate with Republicans in Congress on solving the country's economic problems. About the same percentage, 64 percent, think Republicans aren't doing enough to cooperate with the Democratic president.

Obama courted Republicans during negotiations on the stimulus bill, but it passed with no Republican votes in the House and just three GOP votes in the Senate.

—People don't think much of last year's $700 billion bailout for the financial industry. Nearly half, or 47 percent, say it had no real effect on the economy, and almost a third, or 32 percent, say it actually made things worse.

The AP-GfK poll was conducted Feb. 12-17 and involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,001 randomly chosen adults. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Associated Press Polling Director Trevor Tompson and AP writer Christine Simmons contributed to this report.


On the Net:

AP-GfK poll: http:www.ap-gfkpoll.com

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