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34% Say It’s Good for the Economy If Government Hires More

One-out-of-three Americans think it’s good for the U.S. economy if the government puts more people on the payroll, but most adults still don’t see government as the solution to long-term unemployment.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 34% of Adults believe it is good for the economy if the government hires more people. But 40% think more government hiring is a bad economic move, while 15% say it has no impact. Twelve percent (12%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That’s more support for government hiring than was found in surveys earlier this year but nearly identical to sentiments last October.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say the government should hire people if they can’t find work after an extended period of time, a view that’s had 11% to 18% support in surveys since last fall. Another 15% think the government should extend unemployment benefits indefinitely.

But as in the earlier surveys, most adults (62%) prefer more of a hands-off role for the government, including 28% who favor paying to retrain the long-term unemployed and 34% who say the government should do nothing at all.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans think unemployment will be higher a year from today, the most pessimistic attitude toward the jobs market since last June.  The federal government announced on Friday that the national unemployment rate has risen to 9.1%.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 1-2, 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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