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About 40 percent said they don’t expect the job market to start improving for a year or longer. Another 20 percent said they don’t know when the market will improve.

“Attitudes about the economy are important,” she said, because they feed into consumer spending behavior, which drives economic growth.

“Americans need to know that they will not lose their job because their company is in trouble,” she said.

“Until they feel this sense of security, there is no way that they will turn around on their attitudes towards the economy — regardless of what economists may be saying.”