Based on a recent DataPath poll of 300 Yukoners, the message is the same – it’s the economy and employment. Over half of Yukoners rate this as the number one issue facing the Yukon today. “We have seen very little change on this question for over a year and a half now,” comments Donna Larsen, partner in DataPath Systems. “The number one issue remains the economy, followed closely by unemployment. No other single issue is anywhere close to these” she adds. While this issue dominates the concerns, the percentage of Yukoners personally affected remains the same. Compared to last year, 20% of Yukoners feel they are better off, while 17% feel they are worse off. The majority, 63% feel they are about the same. “These figures are also extremely consistent to what we have seen for the past two years, and continue to be an improvement over the figures in 2000 however”, says Larsen.
Feelings about the state of the economy have not changed significantly over the past year either. In this poll, 23% of Yukoners felt the economy is in critical condition, with 44% rating it in serious condition, which is similar to the findings in February and throughout 2002.
At the same time, the satisfaction ratings with the Yukon Party has dropped since the last poll in February. At that time, 27% rated the Party a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale, and that has dropped to 22%. “This coincides with the fact the party has been in power longer now, and yet most Yukoners still see the same issues as predominate with little change on the state of the economy. The poll in February reflected the optimisim of a new government, and that had dropped slightly over time, while the issues are consistent” comments Larsen. However, satisfaction ratings with the Yukon Party remain higher than seen during any polls starting with the Fall of 2000.
In the City of Whitehorse, satisfaction ratings for both the Mayor and the Council have improved since February. In February, while the City was announcing transit cutbacks, high (4-5) ratings of the Mayor were at 21% and that has increased to 30%. At the same time, high (4-5) ratings for the City Council improved to 27%, up from 13% in February.
The survey was conducted by DataPath Systems; an independent Yukon-based market research company. Telephone surveys were conducted with 150 Whitehorse residents and 150 non-Whitehorse residents in May and June 2003. The data is weighted to accurately represent Yukoners based on the community they live in, their age and gender. Percentages are statistically valid to +/- 5.5%, 19 times out of 20 (95% confidence). This was a non-commissioned study, paid for by DataPath Systems.