Survey Finds Assist for Halting Federal Unemployment Advantages

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A slim majority of Americans say it is time to end extended unemployment benefits.

The federal government grants unemployed $ 300 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefits. These benefits are slated to continue through September, although 26 states – all but one of which are Republicans – have either ended them early or are planning to do so in the coming weeks.

Critics, including many business owners and Republican politicians, argue that the added benefits discourage people from looking for jobs and make it harder for companies to find workers. Proponents, including progressive groups and many democratic politicians, claim the benefits will be needed as the economy continues to heal and pandemic-related risks persist.

Republican arguments seem to be resonating with the general public. Just over half of Americans – 52 percent – would like the added benefits to end immediately, according to a survey of 2,600 adults published this month for the New York Times by online research firm Momentive, previously known as SurveyMonkey, was carried out. Another 30 percent want the benefits to expire in September as planned. Only 16 percent want the additional benefits to continue indefinitely.

Views on the benefits are biased. 80 percent of Republicans want benefits to end immediately, compared to 27 percent of Democrats. But even among Democrats, most respondents don’t want the benefits to continue into September.

The survey also asked respondents who didn’t work, which was keeping them from their jobs. Thirty-three percent said they were looking for a job but “didn’t find one worth taking,” and another 11 percent said they did not feel safe returning to work . Respondents voluntarily provided a number of other explanations, including:

  • “I don’t want to wear a mask and I have no plans to get vaccinated.”

  • “I’ve only recently been fully vaccinated and will be driving for Lyft again next week.”

  • “Childcare and no luck finding a job.”

  • “Age. Companies pay attention to my age and my passport.”

  • “Car broke down and no money to fix it.”

65 respondents took part in the survey and stated that they are currently receiving unemployment benefits. When asked how they would behave if their services were canceled, 17 said they still would not go back to work. Most of the others said they would take jobs that paid less than they wanted, that made them feel insecure, or that had poor hours or poor working conditions.

In early June, approximately 3.5 million people received benefits in states planning to prematurely end some or all of the emergency programs. A handful of states, including Alabama, Indiana, and Missouri, have already suspended additional payments; In early June, more than 700,000 people were receiving benefits in these states.