Bay Area residents are fed up with the rising costs of living, and many say they are looking to leave. Local economists worry that an exodus from the city – even a small one – could have major ramifications for the area’s economy and businesses.

The Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public-policy advocacy group, surveyed more than 1,000 Bay Area residents about their concerns. More than 60 percent said that the cost of living was one of the top three issues the area needs to fix, with a third saying they plan to leave as soon as possible. To make matters worse, only 40 percent of respondents said the Bay is heading in the right direction, compared to the 55 percent who were pleased with the area last year. That significant drop is why many of the respondents say they need to leave in order to live comfortably.

While these numbers are more of an overall picture and not an absolute, the Council still worries that these negative feelings can damage the work force.

Rufus Jeffris, spokesman for the Council, explains: “It sends a bad message about the Bay Area economy and that there isn’t an open door for top talent to come and work here. It can hurt the diversity of our economy. We need all skill levels and income levels to have a strong economy that is resilient to a downturn.”

Millennials are the most likely to leave, along with those making under $75,000. In fact, residents making over $125,000 had positive views of the area, saying the Bay was moving in the right direction and a great place to live. It has been obvious for quite some time that the income disparities in the area are astronomical, and this latest survey is another reminder. When two bedroom apartments are well over $3500 a month, it makes it harder for people to make ends meet and easier to leave the area for good.