A poll released Monday shows New Jersey following national trends in residents’ gloomy assessment of their income and the larger economy. The study from Stockton University’s polling institute found that a majority of New Jersey residents feel their income has failed to keep up with increases in the cost of living. 55 percent of respondents described their income as “falling behind the cost of living,” while 37 percent said it was “just keeping pace.”
88 percent said the government should provide “a lot” or “some” anti-poverty aid, and 77 percent advocated “a lot” or “some” action from the state to address wealth inequality. 80 percent of New Jersey residents support tax increases for those making more than $1 million annually.
The survey of 802 New Jerseyans found that 70 percent think the country is still in a recession, and only 20 percent described the state’s economic condition as good. 60 percent predicted that children today will be worse of financially than their parents.
35 percent said the national economy has improved, with 34 percent saying the opposite and 31 percent describing it as the same. Only 10 percent of said their finances were in “excellent” shape. 40 percent said they were in “good shape,” and 50 percent chose “fair” or “poor” to describe their situation.
Anti-poverty issues have recently taken center stage for both houses of the state legislature, where Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto (D-36) announced a plan to phase in a $15 minimum wage as soon as 2021. Prieto has also been a proponent of additional earned income tax credits for those hovering near the poverty line.
See the full study here.