If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.

 

Americans Question Whether Extended Unemployment Benefits Do More Harm Than Good

Friday, December 03, 2010

As Congress wrangles over whether to continue funding unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks, Americans express skepticism about the need for benefits that last that long.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that nearly half (49%) of adults, in fact, think providing unemployment benefits for 99 weeks increases the number of people who remain unemployed. Just 28% disagree, while another 23% are not sure. (To see survey questions, click here.)

Unemployed Americans are now eligible for up to 99 weeks of combined state and federal unemployment benefits because of emergency legislation passed by Congress. This legislation is now up for renewal.But 41% think 99 weeks for benefits is too long, while 16% say it’s too short a period. Thirty-four percent (34%) feel the benefits period is about right.

Perhaps one reason for the skepticism about the lengthy benefits arrangement is the finding that 58% of adults think it is possible for anyone with a college degree and willing to work to find a job within 99 weeks. Only 22% don’t think it’s possible for someone like that to find employment in a nearly two-year period. One-in-five (20%) are undecided.

New government figures released today show the national unemployment rate has risen slightly to 9.8 percent, remaining just short of 10% as it has for months.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on November 30-December 1, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

How wide is the gap between Democrats and Republicans on the benefits issue?  How do unaffiliated adults feel? Become a Platinum member and find out. 

OR

Become a member and get full access to all articles and polls starting at $3.95/month.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.