The protracted and uneven recovery from the Great Recession has led most Americans to conclude that the U.S. economy has undergone a permanent change for the worse. Seven in ten now say the recession’s impact is permanent, up from half in 2009 when the recession officially ended. Much of this is rooted in direct experience. Fully one-quarter of the public says there has been a major decline in their quality of life owing to the recession, and 42 percent say they have less in salary and savings than when the recession began. Despite five years of recovery, sustained job growth, and reductions in the number of unemployed workers, Americans are not convinced that the economy is improving. Only one in three thinks the U.S. economy has gotten better in the last year and only one-quarter thinks it will improve next year. Moreover, just one in six Americans believe that job opportunities will be better for the next generation of workers, down from four in ten five years ago. These are some of the findings of a new survey conducted between July 24 and August 3, 2014 by the Heldrich Center with a nationally representative sample of 1,153 Americans.