Great Recession still hurting? 23% of Americans say their financial situation is 'worse' now

Even a decade after the Great Recession, almost a quarter of Americans have said they are worse off than they were before 2007, a new survey published Thursday found.

Bankrate surveyed 2,740 adults across the country. Of those surveyed, 2,315 were older than 18 when the recession started.

Among people who were adults before the recession hit, 33 percent said their financial situation is "about the same" as it was before 2007, while 23 percent said their situation is worse.

The survey shows how, despite low unemployment, many Americans are still recovering from the recession more than a decade later.

“The echoes of the financial crisis and Great Recession remain very present in the financial lives of many Americans, despite the improvement in the broader economy,” Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst, said. “While some have managed to prosper in the decade since there are still tens of millions who are struggling to even get back to where they were before the economy took a turn for the worse.”

The survey found that 55 percent of people who were adults before 2007 were negatively impacted by the recession.

Of those impacted, 6 percent had to dig into their retirement savings, 7 percent depleted their emergency savings, 19 percent lost money on the stock market, 19 percent took on significant debt, 20 percent lost value on their homes and 15 percent either lost a job, or their significant other did.

Meanwhile, 31 percent of adults reported no negative impact from the recession.

More than a decade later, 26 percent of adults who were negatively impacted by the recession are worse off than they were before it hit. Meanwhile, only 14 percent of people who were not initially negatively impacted by the recession, reported being worse off than they were in 2007.

“Individuals with lower incomes and educational levels were also more likely to report that they were doing worse now than before the recession,” the survey found.

Karen Dynan, an economics professor at Harvard, said that the uneven financial recovery is partly due to underemployment, according to Bankrate.

Another contributor to the uneven recovery is stagnant wage growth, according to the survey. The survey found that 54 percent of adults reported their salaries haven’t gotten back to their pre-recession levels — with 32 percent saying they were about the same and 31 percent saying they were worse.

The study also found most Americans have since changed their financial habits.

“It is critically important for Americans to try to save now for emergencies and for retirement while paying down or paying off debt,” Hamrick said. “Don’t wait to prepare until after it is too late when a financial storm has already arrived.”


In April, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said the Trump administration's economic policies is expanding America's wealth to all-time highs while reducing the unemployment rate to historic lows. He also said at the time that the president is not “fully satisfied” with the economy and wants to see continued growth.

However, a survey published Wednesday found many CFOs in America are betting the U.S. economy will enter a recession within one year.

The Duke University and CFO Global Business Outlook study found that 48.1 percent of U.S. CFOs believe the nation will be in recession by the second-quarter of 2020; about 69 percent believe a recession will have begun by the end of next year. It’s the third consecutive quarter that CFOs have warned a recession could hit by 2020.

Fox Business’ Megan Henney and John Fawcett contributed to this report.