Great recession still cramping consumer attitudes

Today’s workers are responsible for their finances in ways earlier generations weren’t.

by. Susan Tiffany

Consumer attitudes about the economy are “mixed,” Jean Chatzky says. Chatzky spoke via webinar, hosted by the Filene Research Institute, as director of education for SavvyMoney.

While the economy has rebounded significantly, Chatzky, who also is financial editor for NBC’s “Today Show,” says 10% of mortgages still are underwater, compared with a historical rate of 5% in a normal economy.

Unemployment is down, but many workers are underemployed. Further, half of all consumers save nothing.

“The recovery is very regional,” Chatzky explains. “It all depends on the job and housing market where you live, and on your industry.”

She points out, too, that workers today have to be responsible for their finances in ways earlier generations did not: Previous workers had pensions, health coverage from an employer, and confidence in Medicare and Social Security.

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