Congratulations, Washington politicians! You are no longer the country's biggest problem.


A new Gallup poll released Monday shows that Americans see jobs and unemployment once again as the country's most important problem. Prior to last fall, either jobs or the economy had led the "most important problem" list going back to February 2008, according to Gallup.

The jobs issue was overtaken by Americans' dissatisfaction in the midst of the 16-day federal government shutdown in October, which led to 33% of respondents calling government/politicians the country's most important problem. The shutdown was the third longest in U.S. history, and government/politicians continued to be identified by respondents as the country's most important problem in November, December and January.

In the latest poll, taken just days before the House and Senate suspended the nation's debt ceiling without conditions, 23% named jobs/unemployment and 20% identified the economy in general as the country's most important problem. Government/politicians came in third at 19%.

Interestingly, over the same time period, the jobless rate has fallen by 0.6% nationally since October to 6.6%, but economists say part of the decline is attributable to discouraged workers no longer actively searching for jobs.

The latest poll was conducted Feb. 6-9.

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