Locals' assessment of Palm Coast as a place to work — and to find work — is improving, but remains below national benchmarks, according to local results of the National Citizen Survey.
"We see a steady increase in the vibrancy of downtown areas and an increase in Palm Coast as a place to work, employment opportunities, the quality of businesses and services, and economic development," Lauren Johnston, the city's chief of staff, said in a presentation at a March 8 City Council workshop, summarizing survey responses.
Palm Coast is one of approximately 600 communities around the country that uses the National Citizen Survey.
The city has done so since 2002, and the survey now goes out every other year.
Most of the questions are standardized so that communities can compare the responses of their citizens to those of other communities, and questions are also, for the most part, the same each year so that year-to-year trends can be identified.
A total of 35% of local respondents rated Palm Coast as a "good" or "excellent" place to work — up from 19% in 2015, but still much lower than national the benchmark: It leaves Palm Coast with a rank of 357 out of 373 communities that used that question: Only 4% of communities had lower rating.
Similarly, 30% gave positive ratings to the city's employment opportunities — a number that's an improvement from 8% in 2015, but still leaves Palm Coast ranked 264 out of 327 communities that used that question.
However, 64% of respondents rated the city's overall economic health positively, a rating that places Palm Coast in line with the national benchmarks and an improvement from 46% in 2015.
See the sidebar at right for more data on how Palm Coast locals rated the city on a range of economic and business-related issues.