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24% Say Government Should Hire Long-Term Unemployed

The number of Americans who believe the federal government should assume financial responsibility for the long-term unemployed has increased throughout 2011. Most, however, still reject that approach.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 36% of American Adults believe that the government should either hire the long-term unemployed (24%) or extend unemployment benefits indefinitely (12%). That’s up from 30% in June and 26% in March.

The number who prefer having the government hire the long-term unemployed is up to 24% from 15% in June.

Fifty-six percent (56%) reject the notion of assuming long-term financial responsibility for the unemployed. That’s down since June and includes 23% think the government should pay for retraining while a third (33%) says the government should do nothing. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Overall, just 13% now believe the U.S. job market is better than it was a year ago.  Fifty percent (50%) think it’s worse.

The Rasmussen Employment Index, which measures workers’ perceptions of the labor market each month, fell nearly eight points in July to the lowest level since March. Only 18% of working Americans now report that their firms are hiring, while 24% say their firms are laying off workers. It has been nearly three years since the number reporting that their firms are hiring has topped the number reporting layoffs.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 4-5, 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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