Americans continue to be concerned about the direction of the economy as businesses recover from the pandemic and consumers cope with record inflation.

A new Gallup poll revealed that Americans are more likely to be concerned about the economy now than they were a year ago. The survey, conducted April 1-19, asked respondents if they were very or moderately worried about multiple economic issues.

Across all income earning groups, at the top concerns included paying monthly bills (40%), maintaining their standard of living (52%), paying rents and mortgages (35%), making minimum credit card payments (22%), paying for college (72% of parents) and saving enough for retirement (63%).

These concerns all showed an increase in respondents' worries by between 5 and 8 percentage points from last year. Up 2 percentage points from 2021, respondents also reported worrying about making enough to pay for everyday healthcare (43%) and emergency healthcare (56%).

The poll, released Monday, marks the first time since 2016 that Gallup recorded a majority of respondents feeling worried about maintaining their preferred standard of living and saving for retirement.

When broken down by socioeconomic status, middle/upper income earners reported minimal changes in their concerns overall while low-income earners reported much higher rates of concern.

When low-income earners reported concerns about maintaining their standard of living, 73% said they were worried, up 17 points from 2021 (56%). Middle-income earners reported a 6% jump from 2021 (52%) while upper-income earners reported a 4% increase (36%).

Only in two categories did low-income earners report less than 10 percentage points of change from 2021 to 2022: payments for everyday healthcare costs, which was up 9 points in 2022 (62%) and paying for childrens' education, which decreased by 2 percentage points to 37%.

Worries over the state of finances for Americans in 2022 comes amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rising cost of living associated with inflation. There are also fears of a recession on the way amid another surge in the prolonged pandemic.

The US economy added 428,000 jobs in April as a range of industries hired
The US economy added 428,000 jobs in April as a range of industries hired AFP / Frederic J. BROWN