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New data shows Arizonans on Edge About Job Security, Legislature


July 29, 2009

Two-thirds of Arizonans who participated in the latest Arizona Indicators Panel are dissatisfied with how the Arizona Legislature is dealing with the state budget and tax issues. And of those respondents who keep close tabs on current news about the Arizona state budget, 80% disapproved of the legislature’s handling of the situation.

These new data are among the findings from a statewide panel of a representative sample of Arizonans. These and other results have just been released in a new AZ Views briefing "Arizonans on Edge…So Why Not Involved?" The panel survey tracks how Arizonans are thinking and feeling over time. AZ Views reports the data and analysis from the survey. The panel is part of Arizona Indicators which is a project of Morrison Institute for Public Policy. These latest findings look at how attitudes have changed about a range of issues in the past year.

Compared with June 2008 when AZ Views reported that “Arizonans have a strong sense of job security, despite the national economic slump and the state’s budget crisis,” opinions have changed. Data from June 2009 shows that not only are Arizonans feeling insecure about their jobs, but in the past 12 months, those who said they feel “very secure” about keeping their jobs or keeping their businesses open declined by almost a third.

In addition, most panelists continue to rate the quality of life where they live as “good” or “excellent,” but they report a marked decline “in the last few years.” In 2008, more panelists reported an improved quality of life than those who said it had declined. In 2009, panelists who said “declining” outnumbered “improving” by 30%. Among those reporting the highest decline in quality of life are those who represent minority groups, are ages 45-59, or make $30,000 or less.

Yet despite concerns about declining quality of life and economic security, fewer than half of the respondents are keeping tabs on current public policy processes, including the state budget process. For more on this study and to read the full version of "Arizonans On Edge" visit MorrisonInstitute.asu.edu. For more on the facts and figures behind the issues covered in AZ Views, visit Arizona Indicators at www.arizonaindicators.org.