Press ReleaseJune 13, 2019

New Polling: Many Americans Are Unaware of Rising Standards of Living

Average incomes have doubled since 1970s; nearly half of Americans believe that to be false

Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2019)—While the standard of living is often portrayed as deteriorating, life in the United States has drastically improved over the last several decades. This week’s Job Creators Network/ Weekly Pulse polling investigates how aware Americans are of these strides.

When prompted with the true or false statement, “compared to the 1990s, more Americans today are working two or more jobs,” 87 percent of respondents wrongly answered false. Similarly, when posed with the true statement, “The minimum wage first became law in 1938. Even after adjusting for inflation, the minimum wage today is significantly higher than it was initially,” 42 percent of Americans respond incorrectly.

“The standard of living in the U.S. has consistently improved over the last half century as incomes rise, homes become larger and more Americans have access to more technology,” said Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation. “While some Americans are aware of the improvements, many don’t know how good they have it.”

“Despite the strong economy, many people remain uninformed on key issues,” commented pollster Scott Rasmussen. “Though most Americans think otherwise, the fact is that less people are working two or more jobs today—that’s good news and we should hope it gets the recognition it deserves.”

Economic polling questions are below:

How would you rate the U.S. economy today? Excellent (12), Good (36%), Fair (36%), Poor (13%), Not sure (3%)

Is the economy getting better or worse? Better (34%), Worse (30%), About the same (31%), Not sure (7%)

Okay, how would you rate your own personal finances? Excellent (11%), Good (36%), Fair (32%), Poor (19%), Not sure (2%)

Are your personal finances getting better or worse? Better (30%), Worse 18%), About the same (49%), Not sure (3%)

Are companies in your area likely to be hiring new workers or laying off existing workers? Hiring new workers (45%), Laying off existing workers (21%), Not sure (34%)

For historic data on these economic questions visit:

Download full crosstabs of this week’s questions:

This poll of 1,083 US adults was conducted June 10-11, 2019. For more information about the Job Creators Network please visit