Work--that fact of life that people love to hate--may not be so bad after all: 86% of North County workers feel satisfied with their jobs and most are confident they won't lose their job this coming year, the Los Angeles Times Poll found.
A majority, 57%, say they wouldn't move out of North County even if a better job was offered elsewhere; 42% said they would be willing to relocate for a better job.
Although some would leave the area for jobs, many also came for jobs.
The most common reason poll respondents gave for initially moving to North County was to take a job; 23% cited that reason. Of those who've moved into North County in the last two years, 39% have come for jobs.
Mark Naschke is a 38-year-old San Diego County deputy sheriff who lives in Escondido with his wife of 18 years and their four children.
He isn't ready to leave North County. At least, not yet.
Naschke, an Army veteran, was a commercial photographer for a time, and finally settled down in a law enforcement career just four years ago. And, given his peace officer training, Naschke said he could probably now land a job anywhere in the United States.
"I like this area. The accessibility to the ocean, the beaches, the mountains, the desert. The climate. I like it all. I'd rather live closer to the coast, but prices being what they are, well, living here (in Escondido) is a compromise," said Naschke, who is now buying a house. "And I like Escondido. It's part small town, part big city."
But that isn't to say Naschke is married to the Sheriff's Department, or to North County.
"I can be bought, so to speak. The pay here is low, and the cost of living here is high. A lot of people are leaving here for jobs elsewhere. A lot are going to Riverside County, where they're paying 20% to 30% more.
"But my wife has her family here, in Escondido. She's a native San Diegan. So it would have to be for a pretty substantial reason that I'd consider moving away at this point."
Among rooted people, 89% said they are satisfied with their work, 15% feel job loss this coming year is likely, and 36% said they would likely move for a good job outside of North County.
Among the much smaller group of people who don't feel settled in, 73% said they were satisfied with work, 26% feel job loss this coming year is likely, and 65% said they'd likely move for a good job elsewhere.
While more single people would move for a job than married people--52%, compared to 36%--those with children were about as likely to move for a good job--44%--as were those without children--40%.
And those with relatives living nearby are as likely as those who don't to move for a better job.
Other findings about North County residents in the workplace:
* 21% of men and 13% of women fear losing their job this coming year.
* More men than women--49% to 34%--would move for a good job elsewhere.
* More than half--52%--of those in the labor force aged 18 to 25 say they would likely move for a good job elsewhere, compared to 42% of the 26-to 44-years-olds and 38% of 45-to 64-year-olds.
WORK Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your work these days? (Asked of 69% in labor force.)
43% Entirely satisfied
31% Mostly satisfied
12% Somewhat satisfied
7% Somewhat dissatisfied
3% Mostly dissastisfied
2% Entirely dissatisfied
Do you think you will lose your job or be laid off in the next 12 months?
2% Don't know
How likely is it that you would move away from North County if a good job was offered to you?
1% Don't know
EDUCATION What is the highest grade of regular school or college that you finished?
6% 8th grade or less
11% 9th-11th grade
22% High school graduate
11% Technical school
24% Some college
14% College graduate
11% Graduate school
INCOME What is the combined annual income of all members of your household?
2% Less than $10,000
14% $10,000 to $20,000
17% $20,000 to $30,000
18% $30,000 to $40,000
11% $40,000 to $50,000
9% $50,000 to $60,000
18% $60,000 or more
11% Don't know/refused