Perceptions of economy unchanged in 2 years

People’s views of the economy have barely improved in the last two years despite the recent drop in the unemployment rate. 

A majority, 60 percent, is hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday. Just over 30 percent are hearing mostly bad news, and less than 10 percent have heard good news.

These perceptions have not changed much in the last two years, Pew said.

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Although the unemployment rate recently dropped to 7 percent — the lowest in four years — more people still have negative views of the employment outlook. Forty percent hear bad news about jobs, 41 percent hear mixed news, and only 14 percent have positive perceptions, the poll found. 

This survey comes as the Federal Reserve prepares to release its decision Wednesday over whether to maintain its bond-buying stimulus program.

President Obama has also shifted to a focus on the economy, and recently called the gap between the wealthy and poor one of the country’s greatest challenges. 

In a recent weekly address, for example, Obama called on Congress to renew jobless aid before the end of the year. More than 1.3 million people will otherwise lose their current benefits.

Democrats wanted to extend aid included in the budget deal, but conceded, and vowed to find another way to pass the measure. 

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