It officially ended five years ago, but the Great Recession appears to have instilled a permanent sense of fear and pessimism in the minds of the American public.

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A national survey released Thursday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found that seven in 10 Americans believe the U.S. economy has undergone permanent changes for the worse.

“Despite sustained job growth and lower levels of unemployment, most Americans do not think the economy has improved in the last year or that it will in the next,” the survey stated.

Roughly 16 percent of respondents said job opportunities for the next generation will be in better shape than they are now. Just 2 percent said the federal government can make progress with the nation’s economic troubles in the near future.

“There’s actually less confidence than there was even two or three years ago,” said Carl Van Horn, co-director of the study.

Van Horn said these negative attitudes are the result of people who were truly hurt by the economic downturn, or know someone who was severely affected.

“They’re more anxious about their jobs, they feel more stressed out, and they’re pessimistic about their future, their ability to retire when they want to,” he added.

Just one in three adults reported they were completely unscathed by the recession.