Crosstab Software Reveals: New Yorkers Feel Economically Stuck

New Yorkers Economically StuckCrosstab software is at it again, revealing meaningful survey insights that may not have otherwise been discovered. The latest case in point comes from the Community Service Society of New York, which annually conducts a survey entitled Unheard Third. This survey focuses on low-income New Yorkers, but also includes middle and higher-income New York City residents to compare their concerns and priorities.

The 2016 Unheard Third survey uncovered a gem of information about one belief that held firm across all economic levels of New Yorkers:

  • The majority felt stuck in the economic ladder, as if they weren’t moving at all.

Up, Down or Stuck?

The survey asked New Yorkers:

Would you say you and your family’s economic situation is best described as:

  • Climbing up the economic ladder
  • Slipping down the economic ladder
  • Stuck in the economic ladder

While some still responded with “don’t know” or “not on the ladder,” the results for those who chose one of the three above options were as follows:

All New Yorkers

  • 24 percent: Up
  • 18 percent: Down
  • 54 percent: Stuck

Higher income (greater than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level)

  • 29 percent: Up
  • 11 percent: Down
  • 54 percent: Stuck

Moderate income (between 200 and 400 percent FPL)

  • 28 percent: Up
  • 17 percent: Down
  • 53 percent: Stuck

Near poor (between 100 and 200 percent FPL)

  • 22 percent: Up
  • 20 percent: Down
  • 54 percent: Stuck

Poor (below FPL)

  • 15 percent: Up
  • 25 percent: Down
  • 56 percent: Stuck

While we broke down the results into individual categories, crosstab software would make the analysis much easier by presenting the data in one, all-inclusive chart. A crosstab of the data might look something like this:

  All New Yorkers Higher Income Moderate Income Near Poor Poor
Up 24 29 28 22 15
Down 18 11 17 20 25
Stuck 54 54 53 54 56

Crosstab software lets you see, at a glance, that the majority in every single income category had the same feeling of being stuck on the economic ladder. The percentages in some cases were identical, while others were within a few percentage points of each other.

You can also see that the percentage of respondents who feel they are moving up beats out the percentage of those who feel they are moving down in all income brackets except the poor.

What This All Means

Why some do feel they’re moving upward, downward or stuck on the economic ladder? One survey analysis found that the perception of economic movement weighed heavily on the type of employment the respondent had.

  • Full-time workers had a more positive outlook on their place in the economy than people who only worked part-time or not at all.
  • Individuals who earned salaries felt significantly better about their economic status than those paid by the hour.

And even though the question is based on perception, rather than reality, it uncovers another telling point. Such a notable percentage of folks feeling stuck or losing ground on the economic ladder indicates the “the idea that hard work and perseverance can lead to a better life [in New York City] is losing ground.”

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