40 Percent of Bay Staters Fear for Jobs

More than three out of four Bay State residents are worried about maintaining their standard of living, and more than 40 percent fear they may lose their jobs, according to the latest Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll.

The poll underscores deep concerns about the current state of the economy and its impact on Massachusetts residents. Many (37 percent) say they're spending less than they were six months ago, and a majority (53 percent) project that they may have to work longer than they had expected before retiring.

Increasing optimism

Despite those concerns, the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll also suggests that Bay State residents see some light at the end of the tunnel. While many still view economic recovery in the distant future, the number of respondents who expect the economy to improve by the end of the year has jumped to 43 percent. That’s a shift from a Suffolk/Globe poll released six months ago, when 21 percent of respondents expected improvement by year’s end.

“Massachusetts residents remain deeply concerned about their jobs and their standards of living, but they don't think the economic downturn will last forever,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “They have changed their spending habits and their expectations, but they're starting to express a hint of optimism about the future.”

Full contents of the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll appear in the March 29, 2009, issue of the Boston Sunday Globe and are available online at www.boston.com/business and on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site.

"A human story"

"This poll is part of the Globe's commitment to covering the financial crisis and its impact on the Massachusetts economy and its residents," said Globe Business Editor Shirley Leung. "It shows that at its essence the recession is a human story, one the paper is trying to tell as completely as possible.”

The Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll was conducted March 22-March 24 and includes answers from 400 residents across the state. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.