Field Poll

By Christopher Cadelago
Published: Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014 – 8:28 am

Tracey La Monica lost her job at a nonprofit organization four years ago as the state’s economy sputtered amid the global economic crisis. Although she soon landed employment, La Monica said she believes the slow recovery continues to weigh heavily on California.

“I personally am doing well. I am better off than I was last year,” said La Monica, 40, of Pacific Palisades. “But the state has some work to do.”

For the first time in seven years, more voters in California report being better off financially compared with the previous year, according to a new Field Poll released Wednesday. Still, more than twice as many say the state is in bad economic times than say it is in good shape, the survey found.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.

Statewide unemployment tumbled to 7.6 percent in May, the lowest level since the stock market crashed in 2008. Sacramento’s unemployment clocked in at 6.7 percent, the first time in six years that the jobs figure dipped to less than 7 percent. The stock market and home values in many areas also have seen healthy growth.

Despite the steadily decreasing unemployment rate, a majority of voters describe the employment situation in the state as very serious. Sixty-four percent say jobs are difficult to find in their communities, while just 21 percent have the impression they’re widely abundant.

La Monica, a participant in the poll and a registered Democrat, previously lived in the Central Valley while serving as an aide to former state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield. La Monica said she perceives a glut of employment opportunities in coastal Los Angeles.

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