The recession has directly hit more than half of American working adults, pushing them into unemployment, pay cuts, reduced hours at work or part-time jobs, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The biggest problem for the recovery remains the number of people who are unemployed. Adding to that is the growing number of people who stand to lose government support while they search for work. More than a million people have lost benefits and more could be cut off now that Congress has failed to extend federal jobless aid.
The economic shock, which destroyed 20 percent of Americans' wealth, has jolted many Americans into a new, more austere reality, which is likely to have lasting consequences for an economy fueled mostly by consumer spending.