Since 2010, the Regional & Community Outreach department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been surveying community development corporations, economic development agencies, banks, and other community leaders across New England to get a sense of emerging issues. The New England Community Outlook Survey is one of several similar surveys around the Federal Reserve System. The survey helps the Boston Fed's Regional & Community Outreach department refine its efforts to improve the economic strength of lower-income people and communities in the six New England states.
After each survey, the Boston Fed publishes a report highlighting the many lessons learned. The report also delves into themes that stand out, and uses secondary sources to identify possible explanations or motivations for those emerging themes. Themes that have been highlighted in the past include urban, rural, and suburban poverty, as well as the social and economic effects of increasing drug abuse.
Community leaders interested in becoming a part of these surveys may contact Kaili Mauricio or Anthony Poore.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conducted its semiannual New England Community Outlook Survey in April 2015. As before, the survey covered topics ranging from the availability of credit for small businesses to emerging issues facing lower-income communities. This time the survey included additional questions on workforce development, student debt and the availability of jobs in respondents' communities.