The social research lab at Fresno State asked 600 people throughout the Valley about everything from crime to local government. They've been conducting similar surveys since 2001.
For the second straight year Valley residents say the economy is affecting their lives the most. "Yeah, it's tough. It's real tough right now."
That's how Michael Gallego of Fresno describes his ongoing job search. After four years of looking he still hasn't found a full-time position good enough to make ends meet.
Michael Gallego said, "I got to struggle to like get food, struggle to do a lot of things that I could do if I had a job."
According to Fresno State's quality of life survey, only 21-percent of people said they were satisfied with their current financial situation. That's compared to 33-percent in 2010. And when asked about people's confidence in our local government's ability to solve problems, 30-percent of respondents were positive, compared to 36-percent in 2002.
Dr. Ed Nelson said, "And, it's clear as you would expect that we have more people dissatisfied, more people thinking it's been getting worse over the past few years."
Fresno State Professor, Dr. Ed Nelson directed the study, which surveyed residents living in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. He says, while 25-percent of people said the economy affects their lives the most, crime and traffic also made their list of concerns.
Marie Alvarez said, "Actually, I'm praying for things to get better, but the way things look, no I do not believe so."
Tasha Daniels said, "I just think we need more help out here. We really do."
But, the results were not all negative. Researchers say while people's quality of life is decreasing, their optimism is on the rise.
42-percent of people said they are confident the economy will get better next year compared to 15-percent who said it will get worse.
The study also found that the majority of people living in the Valley are satisfied with the neighborhoods they live in.
Everyone surveyed were called randomly and represent all age groups.