Americans are telling pollsters that they believe the U.S. economy and their personal financial situations may have bottomed out.

A unit of MetLife Inc., New York (NYSE:MET), has published those figures in a summary of results from an April telephone survey of 2,243 individuals. The sample included members of the Silent Generation (born 1933-1945), baby boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1977) and Generation Y (1978-1994), and it also included African Americans, Chinese Americans, South Asian Indians and “middle market” consumers with annual household incomes ranging from $35,000 to $100,000.

About 33% of the survey participants said they think the U.S. economy will be better this year than it was in 2009, and 41% said the economy will be about the same. Only 26% said the economy will be worse this year than in 2009.

In 2009, 44% of the consumers MetLife polled predicted the economy would get worse.

About 35% of the participants polled this year said their personal situation will improve this year, and 41% said their personal situation will stay the same.

Although participants see the economy bottoming out, two-thirds said a recovery is 3 or more years away.

Only 34% of Americans said they have an adequate financial personal safety net, but 77% said they are taking action to build one.

Other survey findings:

- 56% of the participants said they have taken on more responsibility at work due to cutbacks in staffing.

- 42% said they are working at least as hard as their parents worked.

- 68% said they would be willing to take a 10% pay cut if that would stop their employers from laying off workers.

-wh