Poll: Nearly 40% of NYC Office Workers Consider Fleeing Crime-Laden City

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 19: Commuters pass through Grand Central Terminal during morning rush
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A shocking 39 percent of employees who work in New York City offices are considering fleeing the Big Apple, as 43 percent of those still working from home say “public safety” is their biggest concern regarding a return to the office, a poll has revealed.

The poll, commissioned by the Partnership for New York City, was conducted by the Morning Consult from February 17 – March 11 and surveyed “9,386 adults working in New York City offices.” The full survey results’ margin of error is plus or minus one percent and the interviews took place online.

The poll discovered that 40 percent of employees who live in Manhattan said “they are thinking about moving away from NYC,” while 48 percent of employees living in other boroughs are also considering leaving the city. Of all those surveyed throughout the boroughs, northern suburbs, and Long Island, 39 percent said they are thinking of moving away.

Just 38 percent said they were “optimistic” about New York City’s future, while 62 percent said they were either “pessimistic” or “unsure.” Of respondents, 84 percent said the city’s conditions have declined since 2020, with 47 percent indicating they have “greatly worsened” and 37 percent reporting they have “somewhat worsened.”

A whopping 94 percent of participants said the city is failing to do enough to address homelessness and mental illness (listed together as one category), while 85 percent said the city is not adequately addressing assaults, and 77 percent noted the city could do more on gun violence. Fifty-seven percent said not enough is being done to curb shoplifting.

Of those who say they commute to work, 82 percent said homelessness on the public transit system has worsened compared to the pre-pandemic days, while 74 percent said safety has deteriorated since before March 2020. Nearly half, 48 percent of commuters, reported public transit has become less sanitary.

The employees’ claims of safety issues on public transit are reinforced by the New York City Police Department’s transit crime statistics. From January 1 to March 20 of 2022, transit crime rose 75 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

Of those still working remotely, respondents were asked to rate “their biggest concerns about returning to the office/workplace,” from the following five choices: personal safety, exposure to coronavirus, long commute, other, and childcare. Forty-three percent said their primary concern about returning to the office was rooted in “personal safety,” while 31 percent ranked “personal safety” as their secondary concern. Twenty-nine percent said their foremost concern was coronavirus exposure, and 32 percent ranked it second.

The survey also asked respondents to write a short response as to how businesses can help expedite the city’s turnaround.

“Our company should be extremely vocal with city officials that employee safety is #1,” one employee said. “All businesses should have measures in place to be active in this space.”

Although many have gripes with the city and report to be considering an exit, 72 percent of employees said they are committed (somewhat or strongly) to the Big Apple and want to be a part of its turnaround.

Of those surveyed, 80 percent go to work in Manhattan, and 14 percent work remotely from home.


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