Public Opinion Poll

Lack of Quality Jobs Has 21 Percent of Californians Considering Moving to Another State, Poll Finds

ca leaving slide

More than one in five Californians are seriously considering moving to another state because of the lack of well-paying jobs here, according to a poll released November 9 by the Public Policy Institute of California.

“Does the lack of well-paying jobs make you and your family seriously consider moving away from the part of California you live in now?” the pollster asked. Those who answered “yes” were asked whether they are considering moving elsewhere in California or outside the state.

The results: 5 percent said they have seriously considered moving to another part of California, 21 percent have seriously considered moving outside California, and 74 percent said they have not seriously considered moving.

The question was part of a wide-ranging poll on a variety of topics, including the cost of living and housing costs. The poll did not include a question directly about the cost of taxes and fees, however.

The only question to mention taxes was: “Do you favor or oppose the government expanding the eligibility and payments of the earned income tax credit for lower-income working families and individuals?” A total of 72 percent said they favor expansion, and 28 percent said they oppose.

The question about the refundable tax credit was part of a group of queries prefaced by the question: “Do you favor or oppose each of these policies that could improve the economic wellbeing of Californians?” The pollster did not indicate whether this wording may have prompted more respondents to express support.

Other questions included:

  • “How much of the time can you trust the state government to do what is right when it comes to handling the issue of jobs and the economy?” Results: 7 percent “just about always,” 43 percent “most of the time,” 49 percent “only some of the time,” and the rest said they don’t know.
  • “How much of a problem is the availability of well-paying jobs in your part of California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem?” Results: 22 percent “big problem,” 57 percent “somewhat of a problem,” and 21 percent “not a problem.”
  • “Now thinking about your own personal finances, would you say you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as you were a year ago?” Results: 20 percent “better off,” 18 percent “worse off,” and 62 percent “about the same.”
  • “Do you think the American Dream is easier to achieve in California than elsewhere in the U.S. or harder to achieve?” Results: 13 percent “easier to achieve,” 57 percent “harder to achieve,” 30 percent “about the same,” and 1 percent “don’t know.”
  • “Would you favor or oppose the federal government providing a guaranteed income, sometimes called a ‘Universal Basic Income,’ of about $1,000 a month for all adult citizens, whether or not they work?” The answers to this question, which was among those prefaced by the statement about “policies that could improve the economic wellbeing of Californians,” were 48 percent in favor and 52 percent opposed.

The findings are based on an online survey of 2,292 California adult residents conducted from October 12 to October 31, 2021. The survey was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified or traditional), Vietnamese, and Korean according to respondents’ preferences.

The sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level (meaning that “95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed,” the pollster explained).