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Survey: Nearly half of NYers don’t feel financially better off than four years ago

Most New Yorkers don’t see their finances as being better today than they were four years ago, according to an annual survey on the economy and personal finances from the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI).

The survey, released today, found that 47 percent of New York residents identified themselves as not being better off today than they were in 2008. Another 17 percent indicated their finances are about the same as they were at that time, while 35 percent said they’re in better financial shape.

But 50 percent of survey respondents believe the nation’s current economic problems are temporary. That’s up from 45 percent a year ago. The other half of New Yorkers feels the country’s best days are behind it and the next generation faces a lower standard of living.


“New Yorkers continue to climb a steep financial hill,” SRI Director Donald Levy said in a news release. “Few say that their load has lightened since this time in 2008, but with half saying the economic glass is more full than empty as they look to the future, the trail may be evening out as we hit the next bend. Younger New Yorkers, Democrats, and those with jobs are more optimistic than their older, Republican, and not-working neighbors.”

When it came to employment, 17 percent of New Yorkers said they were part of a household with a member who had lost a job in the last six months — essentially even with last year’s reading of 18 percent. And 21 percent of residents had their work hours cut in the last six months, down from 25 percent in 2011.

The portion of New Yorkers who know someone who’s lost a home in foreclosure in the last year notched 29 percent, up from 26 percent a year ago.

Repealing the federal health-care reform law was slightly less popular than keeping it in place, as 43 percent of residents opposed repeal and 40 percent supported it. Taxes on those earning $250,000 a year or more should go up, according to a majority of New Yorkers, 68 percent. And 75 percent threw their support behind increasing development of domestic energy sources like oil and natural gas.

Most New Yorkers, 54 percent, opposed lowering the corporate tax rate, while just 31 percent supported it. Yet 44 percent supported lessening regulations on business, compared to 40 percent who opposed cutting regulations.

The survey, which First Niagara Bank underwrote, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 points. SRI conducted it by making random telephone calls to 621 state residents over the age of 18 between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6.


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