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The Listening Project

June 2010 – Help Wanted

The June survey featured a series of questions that polled respondents about their thoughts on ideastream’s year-long focus on employment issues of the region, “Help Wanted,” and about where they felt the regional economy stood at the time of the survey.

Below are the June survey questions, and selected responses from the 100 respondents.

Question #1
Which of the following statements about the region’s economic atmosphere do you believe is most accurate?

June Question 1

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“While a few have gotten back to work (like myself), many, many others have not, and are now faced with losing unemployment benefits… not a good forecast.”

“As a person who is currently unemployed and is not likely to find a permanent job in her field anytime soon, I cannot say the economic atmosphere has improved.”

“Improvement does not mean that what passes for economic atmosphere here is satisfactory - it merely implies that we have escaped the death grip of hopelessness that had permeated the region.”

“I am still seeing the same people out of work - people who are truly looking. They are finding it even harder between age, education and credit scores all being a factor in this new job market. Many of the new jobs are service and medical. These are not jobs that a middle-aged construction worker is interested in or suitable. I have seen people being turned down for jobs because of credit scores. When you have been out of work for many months your credit is not the best.”

“Unemployment has increased significantly. Jobs are leaving Cleveland’s east side.”

“There continues to be a cohesive, well articulated, well communicated plan that the region’s residents can get behind.”

“Many of my students are out of work. One will lose his job at the end of the Cleveland Schools school year. Another student mentioned his wife was let go before Memorial Day weekend. Eastlake Kmart is closed - more jobs lost.”

“My daughter located a job as registered dietician in one month. Her friends have also found local jobs in the last few months.”

“Once in a while you hear something that makes you think things are improving but then you look around and it hasn’t improved enough to make a difference.”

“As many people are anxious about their jobs, employers continue to overstress employees with expectations and minimal support.”

“Stagnation would be the best way to describe it.”

“In spite of the underlying narrative in journalism, the manufacturing and automotive sectors are leading the way out of the great recession.”

“There’s no popular publication of regional economic barometer. Layoffs get publicity, job fairs, not so much.”

“People seem to be getting hired for seasonal jobs that go with summer, or part-time low wage jobs (underemployed with no benefits). Small businesses are struggling to keep people employed.”

“Bankers will tell you things are looking up. The unemployed will tell you they are still out of jobs. I haven’t felt much of a difference throughout this whole thing.”

“I don’t know if it has statistically but you do feel by the activity and atmosphere that people are feeling better about things.”

Question #2
Have you seen, heard or read any of the following “Help Wanted” coverage from ideastream? (choose all that apply)

June Question 2

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“We do not need handouts - we need honest work and a sense of pride in our accomplishments.”

“There are many organizations attempting to get available jobs more awareness - which in some way is a bad thing as it creates more applicants/competition.”

“Dick (Feagler) deserves an Oscar for his ability to play the straight guy when talking head pros are such comedians.”

“Very little help - just dramatic doom and gloom.”

“As always with (W)CPN, the coverage is excellent.”

Question #3
Did ideastream’s “Help Wanted” coverage expand or further your knowledge of the current economic difficulties?

June Question 3

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“It was the reason I wrote “no change” - I remember on (The Sound of Ideas) the interviews with folks who are still waiting for their situation to improve.”

“One can see it on everyone’s unemployed face, or in the worry look of their spouse. If you don’t read or watch the news much many people are lost on what to do and how and when.”

“I find the coverage either too ‘folksy’ or at a national level - we need local information and coverage.”

“It helped me to understand the solutions more than it did the difficulties.”

“No unity in the community.”

“Nice work, folks!”

“It showed a greater depth to the problems and made them more real.”

Question #4
Please take a moment to let us know what you found particularly interesting.

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I just recall the electrician who has moved up 100+ places on the waiting list for relevant jobs.”

“Mhari Saito reports.”

“I enjoyed hearing the stories of personal struggles by individuals who are unemployed - making the situation more real, more human.”

“That the new generation of college kids is the most frugal generation in years and that they’re responsible with money and optimistic of their futures, so long as hard work is put in.”

“Aggregate community resources to serve Northeast Ohio communities. Ohioans who have been laid off due to the downsizing or closing of companies. Many of those newly unemployed are looking to learn new skills and start over again. But, what about those YOUNG job seekers who are just now starting out? A new study explores the challenges facing young people trying to enter the job market for the first time.”

“I got the impression that people have become so discouraged they don’t see the improvements.”

“Glad to know unemployment seems to be easing. I trust the statistics from NPR.”

“It makes me proud to hear of new business incubators in the area, as well as small businesses looking to make a big impact both in the region’s economy and on things like the environment.”

“What is interesting to me is all the assistance that is available to those who are struggling in/with the current economic situation.”

“The range of groups out there trying to help. I am lucky and employed, but I know a lot of people who are not employed. I had an idea of how to help them get help.”

Question #5
What additional information can ideastream provide regarding employment and/or economic issues that would be helpful to its audiences?

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“I’d like to know if any job retraining programs are available and how to apply for them.”

“I’m more and more curious about the link between values, ethics, salary and career.”

“Keep reporting the facts, but especially the positive news. I believe many economic swings are driven by psychology at least as much as fact and we need to have hoped that progress is being made.”

“I think ideastream does well in trying to provide information. I think the media needs to focus on the people who worked in more labor areas and were they can achieve new areas of employment.”

“More focused coverage - the good and the bad on our region - delivered consistently. I don’t come across it much during my prime drive time listening.”

“Where can I direct my students to find work?”

“Continue to show where the opportunities are - perhaps a program on how to conduct job searches?”

“More local economic issues and more promotion of ideas meant to strengthen the local economy.”

“Have employers on the radio who are actually looking for people to hire. They could speak in general about the type of employees they are seeking: training, education, experience, etc. That might be helpful.”

“I think publicizing job fairs and providing up to date information on economic conditions is the best thing.”

“Any type of forecasting you do would be helpful. In addition, it would be good to cover more about the various area community colleges. They are very close to the economic situation and have many initiatives for people seeking retraining.”

“Not sure - current resources and information already seem quite comprehensive.”

“Please continue with reality. Creating a false picture of hope helps no one.”

Question #6
Have you responded to any prior Listening Project surveys?

June Question 6

Here are some thoughts from respondents to this question.

“It’s cool. Never sure how helpful this might be to managers and producers, but you sure have a great team: Dan (Moulthrop) is amazing; Dee Perry gets even more interesting as time rolls on - a major feat. You guys keep it real and that makes it lively and relevant. Your senior producer David Molpus has such a deep and long history with NPR and is one of the most respected guys on the network.”

“I really, really respect and appreciate the job all of you at ideastream do to keep us informed!”

“I really enjoy you asking for my opinion.”

“I like expressing my views and knowing that someone is actually listening.”

“I wonder if anyone even analyzes these surveys and I wonder how many billions of dollars will flow into Cleveland politicians’ pockets when it (Cleveland) is recognized as America’s fastest dying city.”

“I like that you care about the opinions of the listeners.”

“I appreciate your community efforts.”

“Love the surveys; keep ‘em coming!”

“Do you really listen? Or do these just help WCPN check off a box?”

“I feel they are a good forum and use of my time.”

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