Recession has workers more detemined than ever to achieve the American Dream

A new study says American workers are still worried about the state of the economy and keeping their jobs — but they’re stepping up to meet the challenge by helping out family members, taking on new responsibilities at work, saving more and spending less.
What’s more, according to the 2010 MetLife Study of the American Dream, a significant number of Americans believe the U.S. economy and their personal financial situations have “bottomed out.”
Just slightly more than one in four (26%) of Americans believe it will be worse this year than last – a significant decline from 44% who said the same in 2009. Forty-one percent expect the U.S. economy to stay the same and one-third (33%) of Americans say it will be better this year than last.
According to the study, two-thirds (66%) believe that the full economic recovery of the U.S. is still three or more years away.
Action steps
Employees aren’t just sitting back and waiting for things to improve, MetLife said. More than half (56%) are taking on more responsibility at work, almost two-thirds (64%) have started saving more and spending less, and an additional 29% plan to cut spending.
And even though they may be struggling themselves, a significant number of Americans are helping their family members financially. Nearly half (47%) of Americans say they have given money to a family member in the past year to help  pay bills.
More than one-third (35%) have had a family member give them money in the past year.
The dark side
Employees still face some grim realities, the study said.
Many Americans still find themselves close to financial ruin should they lose their job: 45% couldn’t cover their expenses for more than a month, and 65% couldn’t do so for more than three months. And more than half (55%) are still worried about losing their job.