Better or worse off?

Connecticut residents think they are worse off economically than they were a year ago and four years ago, but residents are relatively optimistic they will be in better shape next year, according to a new poll.

The Sienna College Research Institute’s 2nd annual state survey found sharp differences in attitudes among Democrats and Republicans, with members of the GOP far more pessimistic.

Are the country’s economic problems temporary? Or are the best economic days behind us, and the next generation will have to accept a lower standard of living?

Overall, the state’s residents are divided, with 46 percent saying temporary and 49 percent saying permanent. Among Democrats, 60 percent say the problems are temporary and 36 percent permanent. The Republican divide is opposite, 34 percent to 56 percent.

Asked about today, 20 percent say they are better off than a year ago, 42 percent say the same and 37 percent the same. Thirty-eight percent say they are better off than four years ago, while 51 percent say they are not and 11 percent are the same.

Their expectations for next year? Thirty-three percent say better, 41 percent the same and 14 percent worse.

The percentage of households with someone who lost a job was down slightly, from 20 percent last year to 17 percent this year. Twenty-four percent reported having their hours cut, compared to 29 percent last year.

The complete is available here.