Young adults have significantly more confidence in President Joe Biden‘s ability to lead the economy out of a recession than seniors, according to a new poll.
A Hill-HarrisX poll released Friday found that 81 percent of respondents aged 18 to 41 believe that the Biden administration will “do a good job of handling the economic recession,” compared to 50 percent of those aged 65 or older. Confidence declined dramatically after the age of 50, with 67 percent of the 35-49 demographic believing the administration would do a good job but only 51 percent of the 50-64 group agreeing.
The largest difference of opinions was seen depending on political affiliation, with a huge 93 percent majority of Democrats believing Biden would do a good job compared to only 30 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Independents.
Among those who voted for Biden in the presidential election, 97 percent agreed he would do well, while 78 percent who voted for former President Donald Trump said that Biden would do a “bad job.” Overall, 62 percent of respondents had confidence in the Biden administration’s ability to handle a recession.
The poll was conducted online among 941 registered voters on the second and third days Biden was in office, January 21 and January 22. It has a margin of error of 3.19 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic plunged the economy into a nearly unprecedented crisis during 2020. Commerce Department data shows that the national gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 3.5 percent for the year, the largest contraction since 1946, when the economy shrank by 11.6 percent.
Prior to 2020, the last year that the U.S. economy saw a contraction was 2009, when it shrank by 2.5 percent amid the Great Recession. However, all of the 2020 GDP decrease occurred during the first half of the year as the pandemic took hold. From April to June, the GDP experienced the largest ever quarterly drop of 9.5 percent.
In the third quarter, a record GDP increase of 7.4 percent signaled recovery as lockdowns ended throughout the country and many workers returned to work. The GDP continued to rise during the last three months of 2020, but at a reduced rate of 4 percent as the pandemic surged with the changing of seasons.
The economy is likely to continue recovering during 2021, especially if the pandemic wanes as more of the population gets vaccinated. Although the recession has not been declared officially over, some economists believe it has technically ended since the economy probably already reached a low point during the current crisis.
“The recession is when the economy is going down,” Robert Gordon, an economics professor at Northwestern University, told The Washington Post. “The trough was clearly last April with unemployment at 14.7 percent and production way down as half of the country closed down. There is no way we are going to go back and revisit those trough levels of April.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.