Jobs Trump Deficits on Public Mind

More Americans, including recently graduating college and high school students, are worried about stimulating jobs than reducing federal deficits.Americans are worried about federal deficits, but according to the Pew Research Center they are more concerned about a stagnating economy and weak job market.

A survey by Pew and The Washington Post released last week "showed that the percentage saying that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority jumped from 53 percent in 2009 to 64 percent this year. But the deficit ranked far lower than the economy (87 percent) and jobs (84 percent) on the public’s 2011 agenda.

"Few disagree that the budget deficit is an urgent problem — in late May, 74 percent said it is a major problem the country must address now," Pew says. "But when asked which economic issue worried them most, more cited the job situation than the budget deficit (by 38 percent to 28 percent)."

Pew notes the public has taken only a modest interest in the partisan wrangling in Washington, D.C. over raising the debt ceiling and trimming federal deficits. Opinion is almost evenly divided over raising the debt ceiling. Pew says 66 percent of Republicans worry it would lead to more federal deficit spending, while 54 percent of Democrats fret over the fallout if the debt limit isn't raised.