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News from EPI Newsflash: Health care and jobs are top economic concerns, state experts say

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NewsFlash: November 2, 2006

Health care and jobs are top economic concerns, state experts say

Pollsters and pundits tell us that economic issues are an important ingredient in the mix that could motivate voters’ choices next Tuesday.

But of all the economic issues out there, which ones loom largest? For insight, the Economic Policy Institute consulted with the state-level groups that track state economies and issues as part of EARN (the Economic Analysis and Research Network). The state groups were asked to identify the issues that they believe are the top concerns in their state [PDF] – whether or not they are being discussed by the candidates.

The groups were not given a list to choose from, but were asked to write-in their choices. Twenty-three EARN groups in 21 states responded. For 22 groups (in 20 states) health care was identified as a top issue, while 14 groups in 12 states cited concerns about jobs (including job quality, job losses, and job creation). 

Five groups in four states listed the minimum wage as a priority.  Among those, two states – Missouri and Ohio – have ballot measures to increase the minimum wage statewide.  [Six states (AZ, CO, OH, MO, MT, NV) have ballot measures to raise the minimum wage, but only groups from MO and OH participated in this survey.]

Other issues included stagnant wages, housing costs, and taxes.

Participating states include: CA, CT, FL, IL, IA, KS, KY, MD, MN, MO, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, WA, WI.

Charts online show the results of the survey in an issue-by-issue table, a state-by-state table, and lists contact information for the state experts who participated.  Click for charts and contact list  [PDF].

For interviews or more information, contact the EPI Communications Department at 202-775-8810 or news@epi.org .

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