Hudson Valley News
6:42 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Recession Has Been Tough on Mid-Hudson Residents, Poll Finds

The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion released a poll Monday regarding the region's economy after interviewing 4,443 respondents in the seven Mid-Hudson counties, and residents say it's been a tough five years since the last poll  was conducted in 2007.

The poll was conducted with residents from Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties, and 69 percent are disappointed with the quality of their jobs, and 76 percent are pessimistic enough that if they lost their job, they doubt they'd be able to land a similar job.

The poll found that 28 percent of the respondents have, at least once, looked for a job since 2007 and that 31 percent said they planned on leaving the region during the next five years.  Those with jobs say they are also working longer and commuting longer as the price of gas has become the top economic problem in their daily lives.

“Clearly, what we've seen is that this area is not recession proof despite a lot of strength in our economic infrastructure,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute of Public Opinion. “We can weather storms better than other places, yet when saw that people who had significant hardships, from 24 percent to 32 percent from five years ago, we're seeing what the effects are on individuals and what choices they have to make.”

Respondents are happy with their schools and some quality of life issues in the region, but 62 percent say there is a need for affordable housing and majority of the renters, 56 percent, say if they can't afford to buy a house, they would leave the region.

Despite the hard economic realities for many, they are still committed the region and hope the economy improves in the coming years.

“There's a strength that they like living in this area and that they are invested in the areas and communities they live in,” said Miringoff.

The next poll will be conducted in 2017 when life, economically, may be better in the Hudson Valley – or it may not be.

To read the entire survey, go to www.manyvoicesonevalley.org .

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