siena poll

More Than 50% Of New Yorkers Worrying About Meeting Monthly Bills

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New Yorkers Are Unable To Get Through NY Dept. Of Labor Phone Line To File For Unemployment Benefits

Eighty-seven percent of New Yorkers say that the coronavirus crisis is having either a somewhat or very significant impact on their daily life according to a new statewide survey of consumers released today by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI).

Just over half of New Yorkers, 51 percent, are concerned with being able to meet their monthly financial obligations and 37 percent of all New Yorkers, 46 percent of those 18-34 years of age and 48 percent of those 35-49 years of age, are concerned with being laid off. RCBJ is told that it’s nearly impossible to get through to the New York State Department of Labor to file for unemployment benefits.

Seventy-seven percent are either somewhat (32 percent) or very concerned (45 percent) that the coronavirus and its impacts will cause them serious financial problems.

Fourteen percent of New Yorkers say that they are under mandatory quarantine, 42 percent are self-quarantining, 39 percent are practicing social distancing while only 4 percent are going about life as usual. These numbers may be skewed by the Hasidic community in Rockland County, which has not strictly adhered to quarantining.

Nearly 60 percent are concerned with their retirement savings or investments losing value, 49 percent are concerned about having to financially help other family members and 41 percent of all New Yorkers, and over half of young people and those making under $50,000 a year, are concerned with being able to afford food.

“The coronavirus crisis has turned life upside down for nearly all New Yorkers. Ninety-five percent are either quarantining or cutting back on going out, not being around others and practicing social distancing,” according to SCRI Director, Don Levy. “Almost as many, 82 percent, are worried about their health.”

“And as the crisis continues, the emotional toll is starting to mount. Two-thirds of New Yorkers say that their anxiety level is up, 66 percent say they feel powerless and wish there was something more they could do and 62 percent say that ‘it’s starting to feel like this will never end,” Levy said.

“With so many quarantining or keeping their distance from others, 53 percent of New Yorkers, over 60 percent of younger residents, say that ‘not being with other people is making them lonely’ and 60 percent of all New Yorkers, 66 percent of NYC residents, say that ‘if it wasn’t for the ability to see and talk to others via the internet, they think they’d be going crazy,” Levy said.

A Small Silver Lining

Seventy-six percent of all New Yorkers say that they feel like they are enjoying the small things even more now and 75 percent say that they are appreciating the extra time that they are having with those that are close to them.

“Despite being forced to change the way we live, being worried about our health and the health of everyone we care about, concerned about our financial well-being, and having to live with the uncertainty as to when this will ever end, an overwhelming number of New Yorkers say that they are getting a chance to appreciate – whether by watching old movies, playing games or just being together – having extra time with those that they are close to. And, with all the things to worry about – health, money, food and bills – most of us say that we feel like we are enjoying the small things even more now than before,” Levy said