From the Courier Post:
One in five New Jersey residents is better off today than a year ago.
Still, it is instructional to take the official pulse of the people every once in a while. In a survey this month by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business, one in five New Jersey residents (21 percent) said they are better off than they were a year ago, a three percentage point improvement over a January poll.
Still, the Garden State is in a guarded state, with 36 percent of residents saying they are “very worried” their jobs will go away within the next 12 months. And 31 percent are hard pressed to keep up their credit card payments.
Fewer than half of the people polled (43 percent) believe they will be better off next year. That is the most pessimistic reading since October 2008, when the banking meltdown was in full boil.
Folks over 60 had the gloomiest outlook, with only 24 percent expecting better times ahead. Younger people, those age 18-29, were the most optimistic; 70 percent see brighter days on the horizon.
It is not surprising that the cold hand of joblessness has touched many people. In the poll, 65 percent reported that a close friend or family member had been laid off, compared to 54 percent in January 2009 and 38 percent in January 2008.
On the up side, 39 percent of New Jersey workers are “not at all worried” about losing employment. And only 8 percent expect their credit card balances to increase in the next year.