Most Americans favor some kind of government action to help the unemployed, but now nearly half oppose the idea of the government simply hiring more workers.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 31% think increased government hiring would be good for the economy. However, 47% say it would be bad for the economy if the government hires more, while 14% say it would have no impact. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Americans were more evenly divided in October, when 35% thought the government hiring more workers would be good for the economy and 39% said it would be bad.
Thirty-two percent (32%) of adults now believe the government should do nothing if people can’t find work for an extended period of time. Sixteen percent (16%) say the government should extend their unemployment benefits indefinitely, while 28% think the government should pay for their retraining. Another 16% say the government should hire the long-term unemployed. These findings are little changed from October.
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.
(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 was conducted on February 25-26, 2011 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 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.