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NY1 Exclusive Poll: Recession Forces Half Of NYers To Stop Eating Out

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An exclusive NY1 poll shows that half of New Yorkers have stopped going to restaurants and more than half have cut back on basic household expenses. Meanwhile, 63 percent of New Yorkers are very worried or somewhat worried that someone in their family will lose their job, home or health insurance this year.

PERSONAL BUDGET CUTS

Given the current economic downturn, what steps, if any, have you already taken?

Stopped eating out49%
Pulled money out of stock market or bank24%
Cut back charitable donations30%
Changed vacation plans36%
Cut back on basic household expenses 54%
None10%

How worried are you that you or someone in your family will lose their job, home or health insurance this year?

Very worries35%
Somewhat worried29%
Not too worried17%
Not worried at all19%

FINDINGS

• The economy is still a real concern for the city’s residents, with 63 percent feeling very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family will lose their job, home or health insurance this year. In a slightly differently worded question, more than half of the respondents NY1 spoke with in January said they thought it at least somewhat likely that they or a member of their family would lose their job, home or health insurance this year, and it seems most New Yorkers are still anxious.

• Those most worried now are largely the same groups who felt it was most likely that they could lose their homes, jobs or health insurance in January and who are traditionally more vulnerable in economic downturns: the least educated, Latinos and African Americans, the poor and women. Also worried now are the under 30s, who may be the easiest to lay off because of their lack of seniority.

• The most educated and wealthiest are the least vulnerable and they are the least concerned, just as they were in January.

CUTTING BACK, EATING IN

• In October, NY1 asked what steps New Yorkers had taken or planned. This time, the NY1 poll asked what steps had already taken. Once again, most had cut back on household expenses - with 54 percent now saying they have cut back compared with 61 percent in October saying they had or would cut back.

• Those most likely to say they have been forced to cut back on household basics are African-Americans, women, those with kids in the public schools, 30 to 49-year-olds, those with lower incomes and Brooklynites.

• Unfortunately for the many restaurants in New York, half (49 percent) have stopped eating out. This is very close to the 54 percent who told NY1 in October they had stopped eating out or planned to do so.

• The under-30s are cutting back, with 58 percent saying they have stopped eating out.

• More than a third (35 percent) have changed vacation plans. About the same is true across the board.

• It seems that in hard times most New Yorkers are still giving to others even more in need. Back in October, 43 percent thought they would cut back their charitable donations, but only 30 percent have done so.

• Unfortunately for the charities who used to receive big donations from wealthy New Yorkers, the richest New Yorkers are most likely (43 percent) to report cutting their charitable donations this year.

• About a quarter (24 percent) pulled money out of the stock market — much the same as the 23 percent who told NY1 they had in October. Perhaps there was not much to take out, they are still hoping for a major rally, or they don’t know where else to put what they have.

METHODOLOGY

This telephone poll of a random sample of 754 New York City residents (including 595 registered voters), was conducted for NY1 by Baruch College Survey Research, from May 12-16, 2009.

The sample was based on an RDD design which draws numbers from all existing telephone exchanges in the five boroughs of New York City, giving all phone numbers, listed and unlisted, a proportionate chance of being included. Respondents were randomly selected within the household, and offered the option of being interviewed in Spanish.

The overall sample results were weighted demographically and geographically to population data. The estimated average sample tolerance for data from the survey is +/- 3.6percentage points for the full sample at the 95% confidence level. Differences among subgroups not noted above should not be used. Sampling is only one source of error. Other sources of error may include question wording, question order and interviewer effects.

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