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ECU Report Highlights Role of Employment, Unions in Americans' Well-Being

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The effects of unemployment run much deeper than money, affecting
Americans' outlook on the future

Survey findings include:

  • 42 percent of employed Americans believe they will live longer than
    their parents, compared to 27 percent among the unemployed.
  • 41 percent of employed Americans report feeling isolated, compared to
    68 percent among the unemployed.
  • Only 15 percent of unemployed Americans report being satisfied with
    their lives, compared to 35 percent of employed Americans.
  • 67 percent of Americans living in union households own their homes,
    compared to 52 percent in non-union households.

Data from the Life, Liberty, and Happiness survey conducted by East
Carolina University's Center for Survey Research has confirmed, as we
approach the Labor Day weekend, that employment plays a key role in
Americans' perceptions of personal well-being.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180830005711/en/

Dr. Peter Francia, director of the ECU Center for Survey Research, which has published a new report  ...

Dr. Peter Francia, director of the ECU Center for Survey Research, which has published a new report on employment, unions and the well-being of Americans. (Photo: Business Wire)

"The effects of unemployment run much deeper than money, affecting
Americans' outlook on the future, social connectedness and relationships
with others, and sense of self-worth, confidence and satisfaction with
life," said Dr. Peter Francia, director of the ECU Center for Survey
Research. "The nation's current and near-historic low unemployment rate
is, therefore, not only good news for the economy, but also for the
personal well-being of millions of Americans."

The ECU Life, Liberty and Happiness Project is a nationwide survey of
more than 1,100 Americans conducted in May and June by the Center for
Survey Research at ECU using mail, internet and phone surveys to reach
adults across the country. Results are weighted to be representative of
the U.S. population.

The project's purpose is to highlight shared experiences among Americans
as well as identify differences.

The new report shows:

  • The employed are significantly more likely than the unemployed to be
    optimistic about future life expectancy and the value of hard work.
  • The unemployed are significantly more likely than the employed and
    others to lack companionship, to feel left out and to feel isolated
    from others.
  • The employed are significantly more likely than the unemployed to
    express satisfaction with their lives and to answer that they are able
    to cope with their problems.
  • The unemployed are also more likely than the employed and others to be
    depressed, pessimistic about the future, and to score lower on other
    items related to personal well-being.
  • Americans living in union households are more likely to report owning
    their homes than other Americans.
  • Housing affordability is less likely to be a challenge for Americans
    living in union households than other Americans.
  • Americans who live in union households are more satisfied with their
    financial situation than other Americans.

The survey report is available at http://news.ecu.edu/2018/08/30/labor-and-life/.

The initial report on the Life, Liberty, and Happiness survey, released
in July, showed that a majority of Americans are satisfied with their
lives, that only 23 percent trust the media, and that 1 in 10 adults
live in a home with unsecured and loaded firearms. That report is
available at https://news.ecu.edu/2018/06/29/life-liberty-and-happiness/.

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