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Fed poll: Northeasterners say 17% chance of losing their job

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, center,

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, center, is shown. (Aug. 19, 2013) Credit: AP

Northeasterners said last month they had a 17 percent chance of losing their job in 2014 and only a 37 percent probability of finding another quickly, according to a new poll.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Monday unveiled its Survey of Consumer Expectations for the first time. The monthly poll of 1,200 people across the country includes a breakout for the nine-state Northeast region including New York.

The prediction of Northeast residents in December about layoffs or firings over the next 12 months was identical to the national rate. The Northeast ranked second behind the South, whose residents said they had an 18 percent chance of being forced out of a job.

Northeasterners were the most pessimistic about finding new employment within three months. The Northeast's 37 percent was the worst showing among the four regions; residents in the West and South said they had a 50 percent probability of securing a new position quickly. The national average was 46 percent.

Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president of the New York Fed's research group, said Monday the survey would provide more information about consumer attitudes to the Fed committee that sets interest rates. He said the survey, in development for five years, was meant to fill gaps in polls done by research institutions, universities and government.

A New York Fed statement said, "Consumer expectations for overall inflation and home prices remained stable in recent months," based on survey results since June. December's poll was the first released publicly.

Those surveyed last month predicted a median inflation rate of 3 percent for the next year. Fed policy seeks to have inflation be around 2 percent.

Fewer people in the Northeast anticipate moving in the next year. There was only a 17 percent chance that they would change their primary residence by 2015, compared with 21 percent nationwide.

In addition, fewer Northeasterners worry about paying bills. The probability of their not being able to make a minimum payment on a credit card or other debt in the next three months was 11 percent, compared with 15 percent in the country.

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