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Community survey: jobs, economy among local concerns

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - People living in Jefferson County say the pandemic didn’t hurt them in the wallet. That information is included in the Center for Community Studies’ annual survey.

According to the results, a majority of those polled feel their personal financial situation remained the same or got better over the past year and while COVID-19 was the biggest concern for many in 2020, thoughts have shifted in 2021.

The concern now is job security with 39 percent of those polled in Jefferson County saying jobs and the economy are the biggest problems facing the nation.

A change from 2020, when coronavirus was the highest concern at 45 percent.

“I would certainly predict if we did ask why, it would be largely due to here we are in New York state right on the cusp of 70 percent of the adults having at least one vaccination,” said Joel Lalone, Center for Community Studies research director.

These numbers are in the 22nd Annual Survey of the Community, done by the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College.

Lalone oversees the process, as they look at the attitudes and opinions of a select number of residents

Healthcare got great marks - 66 percent rating healthcare access as “excellent or good,” a record high.

Lalone believes that could be due to the increase in tele-health.

“I think that healthcare access, the individuals’ perceptions in our community have become more positive now that we have pandemic-driven more access,” he said.

However, participants says other areas need more work like the availability of behavioral health services and childcare.

Access to good cell phone service and internet connection is also a concern in rural areas of the state; 82 percent saying it needs to be improved.

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