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Poll: Economy, unemployment top problems

PRINCETON, La., May 12 (UPI) -- The general economic malaise usurped unemployment and jobs as the top concern among U.S. residents, a Gallup Poll released Wednesday indicated.

Americans also were more likely to list immigration, including illegal immigration, as the nation's most pressing problem, moving that issue into fifth place overall, Gallup said of its monthly measure of what the public perceives as the nation's most important issues.

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The 10 percent of respondents citing immigration or illegal immigration in the latest poll is the highest Gallup recorded in more than two years, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Since the healthcare bill was passed and signed into law in March, concern about healthcare fell from 26 percent in the summer to 15 percent in the current poll, even though it still is among the top concerns, Gallup said.

The top problems survey participants named as the most important facing the country were the economy; unemployment/jobs; healthcare-related issues; federal government/politics; immigration/illegal aliens; federal budget deficit/debt; lack of money; terrorism, moral/ethics issues, national security, environment and the war in Iraq.

Results are based on national telephone interviews with 1,029 adults conducted May 3-6. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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