Pa. residents concerned with taxes, unemployment

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Taxes and unemployment continue to top the list of the most important problems facing Pennsylvanians, according to the 2006 Penn State poll conducted by the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg.
The poll has been conducted each year since 1987.
Two popular responses. Over a third (37 percent) of this year’s respondents indicated one of these two responses when asked to identify the most important problem facing the state today.
These same problems topped the list in the 2005 poll conducted at the same time last year.
This year’s survey indicated a notable decrease in the percentage of Pennsylvanians reporting dissatisfaction with government and politics, down to 5 percent in 2006 from 13 percent in 2005.
In addition, 2006 respondents identified education, health care or crime and violence as among the most important problems in the state.
New issues. New on this year’s list were lack of technology and business development, and immigration issues.
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of Pennsylvanians indicated being “very” or “more or less” satisfied with the way things are going in the state, compared to 71 percent in the 2005 poll.
Conversely, those dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state was 22 percent, down from 28 percent last year.
Nation’s economy. When asked to rate the nation’s economy today, 35 percent of respondents estimated it to be “excellent” or “good,” (compared to 27 percent in 2005), while 44 percent reported it to be “fair” (compared to 46 percent in 2005).
One-fifth or 20 percent indicated they thought the nation’s economy to be “poor” in 2006, compared to 26 percent in 2005.

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