In 2007, health care was the top concern of residents in the mid-Hudson Valley. Now it’s jobs, according to a Marist College poll today.
The survey, called “Many Voices One Valley,” is done every five years and funded through the Dyson Foundation, based in Millbrook, Dutchess County, according the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The survey had a remarkable sample size: 4,443 residents between Feb. 4 and March 14. It had a margin of error of 1.5 percent.
The survey found that 84 percent of residents said they like living in the mid-Hudson Valley. The study looked at a seven-county area consisting of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
But whereas healthcare concerns were at the top of residents’ priorities in 2007, that has shifted to jobs in 2012. Forty-four percent of residents cited business retention as their top priority.
“Keeping business in the area” received the highest average score of any of 17 issues studied, with “creating more jobs” a close second.
“Making healthcare affordable” dropped from the highest ranking in 2007 to fourth this year. “Improving the quality of education” was third in 2007 and is third again in 2012.
Residents expressed concern not just about the quantity of jobs, but the quality as well. Some 69 percent of residents said they are disappointed with the quality of their local jobs, and 67 percent said communities should do more – and spend more – to improve them.