published on July 8, 2022 - 12:14 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Studies of consumer income, debt and education levels have all illustrated Fresno’s status as economically stressed. Now a study of tweets from Fresno comes to the same conclusion.

Researchers at Online Money Advisor found that Fresno locals are the most stressed about the cost-of-living crisis in California, according to an analysis of 28,000 geotagged tweets from Americans.

The analysis included tweets that specifically mentioned cost of living or rising prices related to expenses including fuel, food, transportation and housing. An academic research tool called TensiStrength that uses artificial intelligence was employed to detect and score stress levels in the short segments of text.

A score of -5 is considered “very stressed” up to +5 for “very relaxed”.

The study found 84.2% of Fresno tweets were stressed, indicating a score between -2 and -5.

That was the highest score for any California city, followed by Sacramento (81.5%), San Jose (80.6%), Long Breach (77%) and Oakland (76.8%) to round out the top 5.

San Diego ranked No. 6 with 75.9% stressed tweets, followed by San Francisco with 72.3% and Los Angeles with 67.6%.

Omaha, Nebraska, was the most stressed US city, with 90.5% of tweets.

Fresno ranked No. 18 nationally in a three-way tie with Tucson, Arizona, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Pete Mugleston, managing director at Online Money Advisor, said with inflation rising to 8.6%, if workers didn’t get an 8.6% pay raise, they are essentially making less money.

“You probably don’t think you deserve a pay cut, so the obvious solution is to ask for a raise. But this can be daunting, and American’s are conditioned to believe that money talk is impolite,” stated Mugleston. “A 2019 survey showed that nearly half of Americans feel stressed, embarrassed or confused when talking about personal finances, so at Online Money Advisor we wanted to share some tips to help you hone your negotiating skills and have the best chance at getting that raise.”

Tips for negotiating a raise include:

  • Setting up a meeting and planning what to say to the manager/employer ahead of time
  • Starting with inflation as a negotiating tool, but aiming to bring more value to the company
  • Understanding the employer side of the negotiation (balancing budgets and achieving company targets)
  • Thinking about other benefits and perks to take advantage of if a raise isn’t granted (work from home, flexible hours)
  • Asking why if the result doesn’t go the employee’s way


The study found that the most stressful expense was energy prices at 86.3%, followed by driving costs at 84.8%, train fares at 83.5% and gas prices at 83%. Property prices came in at 81.7% and food costs at 75.1%.

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