Survey: Big jumps for Jersey in views on finding job, running business

Nearly 2 in 3 residents viewed New Jersey as an “excellent” or “good” place to find a job, while 1 in 2 said it was an “excellent” or “good” place to start a business — marks that were substantially higher than six years ago, according to polling results released Thursday morning by the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

Rutgers Eagleton Center Director Ashley Koning said the positive results mirrored other results from the survey, but particularly noted the increases on the business-based questions.

“Views on New Jersey as a place to raise a family, get an education, enjoy entertainment, find a job, run a business and even retire have gone up since last measured in 2015,” she said.  “Positivity about jobs and business ownership stand out, with ratings on the former double what they were seven years ago and ratings on the latter up by double digits.”

To be clear, non-business owners participated in the starting a business question — and 9% of those polled chose, “I don’t know.”

Here is a look at the questions (with a comparison to answers from December 2015):

Rate New Jersey as a place to find a job

  • Excellent: 17% (up from 5%)
  • Good: 47% (up from 29%)
  • Fair: 24% (down from 40%)
  • Poor: 10% (down from 23%)
  • Don’t know: 1% (down from 2%)

Rate New Jersey as a place to run a business

  • Excellent: 12% (up from 6%)
  • Good: 38% (up from 29%)
  • Fair: 25% (down from 35%)
  • Poor: 16% (down from 20%)
  • Don’t know: 9% (no change)

A deeper dive on the responses shows some interesting numbers.

On the question of finding a job:

  • Men were more likely to say “excellent” or “good” than women (68%-60%).
  • People who identified as white/non-hispanic were only slightly more likely to say “excellent” or “good” (66%-62%).
  • Those making more than $100,000 were more likely to say “excellent” or “good” than those under it (74%-66%).
  • Older residents were more likely to say “excellent” or “good” than younger residents:
    • 50-64: 69%
    • 65+: 66%
    • 35-49: 63%
    • 18-34: 59%
  • Political inclination didn’t seem to matter:
    • Democrats: 66%
    • Independents: 64%
    • Republicans: 62%

Political inclination made a big difference on the question of running a business, as Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to answer “excellent” or “good”:

  • Democrats: 62%
  • Independents: 53%
  • Republicans: 31%

Results are from a statewide poll of 1,044 adults contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones from Feb. 25 – March 4. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5
percentage points.