The news remains mixed when it comes to the state of the U.S. economy. Seemingly for every good piece of data that comes out there is another to counterbalance the enthusiasm. And that's leaving politics out of the equation.
Perhaps that's why so many Americans still seem so uneasy about their economic futures.
But there is a group of people who are more optimistic about the economy and their place in it: employee-owners.
A new study conducted by John Zogby Strategies and commissioned by the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) finds that employee-owners who participate in ESOPs are far more confident about their own financial stability than their peers who don't have an ownership stake in the place they work.
"The data is clear and compelling: employee-owners see and feel the benefits of their ownership interests, and that makes them far more confident in their jobs and financial futures than the rest of us," said John Zogby, a senior partner in the eponymous research firm.
As a way to build context, Zogby researchers benchmarked the results of their survey of 3,415 employee-owners against an October 2016 Marketplace-Edison Research "Economic Anxiety Poll" taken before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
At a time when other studies have shown that most Americans would be thrown by an unexpected expense of just $500, employee-owners worry far less about meeting their monthly budgets compared to their peers. For example, while 38% of workers who don't participate in an ESOP reported worrying whether they could pay their rent, just 4% of employee-owners shared that concern.
Some two-thirds of employee-owners in private ESOP companies also believe they have improved their own personal financial situation from a year ago compared to just 30% of their peers who just have a job and no equity stake in their place of business.