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You think Washington has ‘forgotten’ you — and it doesn’t matter what party you’re in

A person watches the televised inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States while in Times Square on Jan. 20 in New York City. John Moore/Getty Images

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He likes to say he inherited a mess, but, economically at least, President Trump was dealt a pretty good hand when he was inaugurated. 

The American economy’s been adding jobs for the past 78 months — six and a half years — as just one big indicator. And while the overall macro-economic numbers aren’t going gangbusters, they’re generally solid and consumer confidence is strong.


There’s a disconnect.

As we’ve been reporting for the past couple of years, people across the country aren’t feeling that economic strength in their own lives, in large part because the headline gains we’ve seen since the end of the recession  almost eight years ago now  simply haven’t been equally distributed.

We launched our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll in October 2015 to track over time how Americans are really feeling about this economy. Today, we’re releasing our first snapshot under the Trump administration.

The overall takeaway? We’re feeling less anxious, for one thing. Our Economic Anxiety Index has fallen for the first time since we started doing this poll.  

There’s one group, though, feeling more anxious: 18- to 24-year-olds.

We’re also less worried about losing our jobs, being able to pay our mortgage or rent, and whether we’ll be able to save for retirement than we were six months ago.

It’s not all sunshine and light, though.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans feel the government in Washington has forgotten them  a sentiment that cuts across party lines. We’re very concerned about health care; it’s our No. 1 economic issue. Half of Americans say they worry about health care “a lot.”

And only 43 percent of Americans approve of the way President Trump is handling the U.S. economy.

Here are a few other key findings:

• Most Americans support passing a large infrastructure bill, a policy that Trump campaigned on and one that many Democratic politicians support, but one that has not been addressed in the administration’s first 100 days.
• A majority of Americans think building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico will hurt the U.S. economy.
• A majority of Americans think expanding the number of visas for short-term or skilled workers would help the U.S. economy.
• The percentage of Americans who completely distrust the economic data reported by the federal government, such as the unemployment rate, has declined from 25 percent to 18 percent. This is largely driven by an increase in trust among Republicans.

There’s more great data in here  about job security, outsourcing and whether Americans think government should be run like a business. (Hint: We’re just about evenly split on that business thing.)

We’ll dive into a lot of these results in our upcoming coverage, but for now, view the full poll results here.

Dig in. Tell us what you think.

And take our economic anxiety quiz to see how you compare to the national average.

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