ALBANY – The local residents hit hardest economically by the coronavirus shutdown are likely to be younger and poorer, with children in their homes but no four-year college degree, according to a new Times Union-Siena College Research Institute poll.
More than a month after the statewide shutdown began, pollsters asked over 1,000 people in the Capital Region about their experiences during the pandemic. The answers reveal one in five residents say they know someone who had died of the disease even though the region has seen only about 3,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases and less than 200 deaths.
One in four said they or someone in their home had been laid off.
The poll also shows the scope of the economic hardships residents are dealing with due to the job loss and shuttered stores. Forty-four percent said they had trouble getting basic necessities, such as groceries, including 48 percent of residents between the ages of 18 and 34. That number rose to 50 percent among respondents making less than $50,000 a year.
Earlier: Siena poll shows workers want masks to feel safe
Donald P. Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, pointed out that more affluent residents have not been immune from those hardships.
“It’s still 39 percent of those making over $100,000 still have troubling getting those items,” he said.
Those making less than $50,000 a year also reported a harder time meeting monthly expenses. The poll shows 42 percent of those in that group say they were having a hard time with expenses, compared to just 20 percent of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 9 percent of those making more than $100,000.
CLICK HERE: Poll sees gender, political differences on virus responses
Younger residents are also more likely to have to deal with someone in their home losing a job, with 38 percent reporting they have been affected by job losses, compared to 26 percent of all those surveyed.
Education also factors in. Just 16 percent of those with bachelors degree or higher said someone in their home had been laid off and 59 percent said someone in their house was now doing their job from home, compared to 33 percent of those with less than a four-year degree.
The Rebound – Capital Region Views on What Comes Next
Join the conversation about this Times Union-Siena College Research Institute poll in a 9 a.m. webinar on Wednesday, May 13, with Siena pollster Don Levy and Times Union editor Casey Seiler. The free event will stream live at timesunion.com; register now at https:
And for the most part, those younger respondents reported following the public health guidelines around the virus. But the poll found they did so at slightly lesser rates than their older counterparts. Compared to the overall average of 60 percent, only 54 percent of people 18 to 34 said they washed their hands every time they touched a high-traffic surface or coughed and sneezed. And 75 percent of younger respondents reported they always wore a mask when they went out, compared to the poll average of 80 percent.
But self-reported coronavirus infection rates seem to be constant across all age ranges, financial and ideological demographics and genders, with between 2 and 4 percent reporting they, or someone in their household, had been diagnosed with the disease.
Another 15 percent of those polled reported that they had symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, but have not been tested.
The poll questioned 1,007 between April 27 and May 1 from the 11 counties in the Capital Region. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.