Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Budget worries aside, Americans aren’t prepared yet to abruptly cut the size of the government work force.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% of American Adults think it would be good for the economy if the federal government laid off 100,000 workers. Forty-nine percent (49%) say a layoff like that would be bad for the economy. Fourteen percent (14%) say it would have no impact, and 11% more are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Democrats and a plurality (46%) of adults not affiliated with either of the major political parties say laying off 100,000 government workers would hurt the economy. Republicans are narrowly divided on the question.
However, 66% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a proposal to cut the federal payroll by 10% over the coming decade.
The federal government in fiscal year 2009 had 4.43 million employees, including nearly 1.6 million men and women in the armed services. USA Today reports that the average federal worker’s pay and benefits totalled $123,049 in 2009, while on average private workers made $61,051 in total compensation. It’s unclear if this finding includes military personnel.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on March 9-10, 2011 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.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORRasmussen Reader subscribers can now get full access to current articles for 1 year for $24.95
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 $4.95 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.