The findings come as the U.S. continues to slog through a sluggish economic recovery, following the 2008 fiscal crisis, and as the state of the economy remains a key campaign issue.
The economy created a disappointing 96,000 jobs last month, and the GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney, has dubbed President Obama’s economic policies a failure.
But the president has said the economy has made progress, even if it’s recovered more slowly than most would have liked.
The Pew poll also found that Republicans and conservatives were more likely to find themselves in the lower class now than four years ago. Those who placed themselves below the middle class were also less satisfied, and more pessimistic about their future.
Pew’s latest findings, which come from a survey of 2,508 adults, follow recent releases in which the research center found, among other things, that the middle-class had taken a step back over the last decade.