Seven in 10 US citizens say the recession's impact is permanent, up from half in 2009 when the recession officially ended, according to a new national survey at Rutgers University's John J Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in New Jersey.
According to it, just one in six Americans believe that job opportunities for the next generation will be better than for theirs; five years ago, four in 10 held that view.
Roughly four in five Americans have little or no confidence that the federal government will make progress on the nation's most important problems over the next year, it added.
"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," informed professor Carl Van Horn, director of Heldrich centre.
Only one in three thinks the US economy has become better in last year while one-quarter thinks it will improve next year.
Just one in six believe that job opportunities will be better for the next generation of American workers - down from four in 10 five years ago.
The Heldrich centre conducted its survey between July 24 and Aug 3 this year with a nationally representative sample of 1,153 Americans.
It revealed 16 percent (38 million) people were "devastated" because they experienced a "major, permanent" change in the quality of their life after Great Recession.
"With the passage of time, the public has become convinced that they are at a new normal of a lower, poorer quality of life. The human cost is truly staggering," added professor Cliff Zukin, co-director of the survey.
According to Van Horn, Despite nearly five years of job growth and declining unemployment levels, Americans remain sceptical that the economy has improved and doubt that it will improve any time soon.
The slow, uneven and painful recovery left Americans deeply pessimistic about the economy, their personal finances, and prospects for the next generation, the "Work Trends" survey concluded.