Survey: I Want My News … This Way

Harris Interactive is known for its surveys on a wide range of subjects. One of the latest measures news consumption in the top 10 national markets. There are some interesting numbers and trends:

According to the study, Americans in Boston are more likely than those in any of America's other top ten markets to describe themselves as "news junkies" (with 24% so describing themselves, vs. a 10-market average of 16%); residents of the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, are second most likely to indicate this (21%), while Americans in the Los Angeles (12%) and Atlanta (13%) markets are least likely to show this level of news interest.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Los Angelenos are the group most likely to indicate that they are not really interested in the news (25%), while those in the New York City metro market are least likely to indicate this (8%), indicating that they are the group most likely to be at least moderately interested in the news.
Although TV is the preferred news mode when observing the 10-city average (with 45% selecting it as their preferred way to get the news), online (40% for combined computer, tablet and mobile device preference) is hot on its heels overall and ahead of TV in many markets. Preference for news in print also varies greatly by market (highest in NYC, D.C and Boston, lowest in Houston and Atlanta), though it consistently falls behind TV and online.
TV-dominant markets (markets where TV is the top response as residents' preferred way to get the news):
• Atlanta, GA (53% TV, 37% online, 7% print).
• NYC Metro, NY (49% TV, 31% online, 17% print).
• Chicago (49% TV, 36% online, 12% print).
• Philadelphia (49% TV, 38% online, 12% print).
Online-dominant markets (markets where combined online sources – computers, tablets and mobile devices — are residents' preferred way to get the news):
• San Francisco, CA (50% online, 36% TV, 9% print).
• Boston, MA (49% online, 34% TV, 15% print).
• Houston, TX (51% online, 40% TV, 5% print).
• Washington, D.C. (45% online, 36% TV, 16% print).
Markets where the TV-online battle is too close to call:
• Los Angeles, CA (44% TV, 43% online, 11% print).
• Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (45% TV, 43% online, 11% print).
A catchy headline is generally the top factor which makes residents in these markets more likely to read an online or print article (with a 10-city average of 60% citing it as having such an effect), though it shares the top spot with interesting data or research supporting the article in Houston (56% each) and is just ahead of this second factor in Boston (59% headline, 57% interesting data or research).

People Speak Out on Keystone Pipeline

After four-plus years of debate and frustration, many are aware of the possibilities of the Keystone Pipeline. The administration has a second chance to approve this important project. If it listens to the people. The American Petroleum Institute reports:

The Keystone XL pipeline makes sense to the nation. Sixty-nine percent of American voters favor building the pipeline, while 83 percent believe it would strengthen our energy security and 92 percent agree jobs are important when considering the project, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll.

Strong majorities of voters in both political parties and among independents support building the pipeline, the poll also found. And the vast majority of voters polled understand the need to link up Canadian crude oil supplies with U.S. refineries and consider it important that most dollars spent on Canadian oil by America return to the U.S. when Canadians use them to buy American goods and services.

Many Have Anxiety About Re-entering Workforce

The World at Work has an intriguing post about Americans getting back into the workforce. The good news is that 60% of those who were laid off last year have found jobs; the bad news is those who are still looking have more challenges to overcome than one might think.

While more laid off workers are getting back to work, those who are still unemployed are anxious about re-entering the workforce. 60% of workers who were laid off in the last year reported they landed new jobs, with 88% of these workers finding full-time positions. Of those workers who are still searching for new opportunities, 56% said they are nervous about returning to work after an extended period of unemployment. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive for from May 19 to June 8, 2011, included more than 800 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year.

When asked why they felt anxious about re-entering the workforce, 50% of laid off, unemployed workers said it was the pressure to prove themselves while 40% pointed to fear of the unknown and 21% cited new technologies with which they may not be familiar.

Fear of the unknown especially comes into play as workers look to new industries and occupations after exhausting options in their own fields. More than half of workers (54%) who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs reported they found them in entirely different fields than where they previously worked.

"We need to do a better job as a nation to help workers identify jobs that are in-demand today and are projected to grow in the future," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "We have a growing skills gap and the need to get millions of Americans back to work. As the economy recovers, we need to focus on retraining and ‘re-skilling’ workers to help them move to new fields with a greater number of opportunities."

Workers are not only changing industries, they’re changing residences. Of workers who were laid off and found new jobs, 36% reported they relocated to a new city or state. Of those who haven’t found new jobs yet, 38% said they would consider relocating for a position.

Pay Improving
The majority of laid off workers who found new jobs reported their pay is similar or higher than their previous position. 45% reported taking a pay cut, an improvement from 47% last year. 27% found jobs with higher pay, up from 22% last year.

Starting a Small Business
Some workers may replace their job search efforts with entrepreneurship. More than one-in-four (27%) who have not yet found work said they are considering starting their own business.