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26% See Long-Term Government Solution to Chronic Unemployment

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roughly one-in-four Americans now think the government should assume responsibility for those who have been unemployed for an extended period of time.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 11% of American Adults believe the government should hire people who can't find work after a lengthy period, and another 15% says the government should extend their unemployment benefits indefinitely.

Sixty-three percent (63%), however, don't see a long-term government solution to chronic unemployment, with 28% who say the government should pay for retraining and 35% who think the government should do nothing at all. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number who think the government should hire those who've been unemployed for an extended time is down seven points from 18% in October of last year.  Those who say the government should do nothing is up from 28% in the same survey.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Americans say increased hiring by the federal government would be bad for the economy. That’s little changed from February but is up from 39% last October. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say it would be good for the economy if the government hires more people. Just 13% say it would have no impact, while 11% are undecided.

In February of last year, 44% adults said the government should not hire unemployed Americans.  Roughly the same number of (43%) felt that way in December 2009.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on March 25-26, 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. 

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