New Jerseyans are feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic a bit more than the nation as a whole, according to Monmouth University polling – with more saying it has had a major impact on their lives, or they know people who are sick or out of work.

They’re also a bit less optimistic about the road to recovery, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Poll.

“Right now, we have six in 10 New Jerseyans who personally know somebody who has gotten the virus. That’s significantly higher than the one in four Americans across the country who know somebody,” said Murray. “This has really hit home.”

Two percent of New Jerseyans said they had coronavirus and 23% said a family member has. More than 111,000 state residents have tested positive for the coronavirus so far, according to the Department of Health – one out of every 80.

“We’ve also seen differences in terms of who has been hit economically,” Murray said. “Forty-two percent of New Jerseyans say someone in their household has been laid off. That is significantly higher than the 30% nationwide.”

Twenty-four percent of New Jerseyans said they personally had lost their job, which was double the number who said the same nationally.

There’s also a difference in terms of income more acute than in Monmouth’s national polling. Fifty-one percent of people with incomes under $50,000 noted layoffs in their household, compared with 36% for people with incomes over $100,000. For those in between, 42% reported layoffs. National polling shows a 9-point range, only evident at income over $100,000.

“In a state like New Jersey, which has been harder hit by the shutdown economically, we see those hits taking a real aim at those households that are on the lower end of the income scale,” Murray said.

Two-thirds of New Jerseyans say their daily stress level has gone up during the pandemic, compared to a bit over half nationally, Murray said.

“It doesn’t matter what your economic situation, I think everybody in New Jersey is dealing with this in some way, and the vast majority are saying that is it a different world for them, and it’s a world that is getting more difficult to deal with every day,” he said.

Sixty percent of New Jerseyans say they’re very hopeful their lives will get back to normal after the outbreak ends, which is slightly lower than 69% nationally.

“People feel at least somewhat hopeful, but that feeling that it’s going to be an easy road back is lower in New Jersey than it is in the rest of the country,” Murray said.

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