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Poll Suggests Expiring Unemployment Supplements Could Add Nearly 2 Million Jobs This Fall

  • Morning Consult survey estimates that at least 1.84 million jobs will be added to the workforce after a federal unemployment supplement ends in September
  • 45 percent of respondents who turned down a job offer while on unemployment said more generous benefits contributed their decision, but only 13 percent said it was the direct reason for doing so
  • Few respondents said unemployment benefits have been more reliable than previous job wages in covering their basic expenses

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Workers receiving unemployment benefits are under increasing pressure to find work as the expiration of these benefits approaches, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. Researchers estimate that the expiration of these benefits will translate to at least 1.84 million additional jobs through the end of 2021.

A federal unemployment supplement of $300 a week is set to expire on Sept. 4, but 26 state governors have opted to withdraw from the program earlier due to concerns that the supplement is preventing people from returning to work. In the Morning Consult survey of 5,000 people in June, 35 percent said the felt more pressure to find a job with the share rising to 40 percent among those expecting their benefits to end within a month.

  • Slightly less than one-third of respondents said they rejected a job offer while on unemployment, with 45 percent citing supplemental unemployment as a “major reason” for the decision
  • However, only 13 percent said they turned down a job because they had enough money from unemployment, the same share as those who made the decision due to COVID-19 or other health concerns; 14 percent rejected a job due to child care responsibilities
  • Just 20 percent of former full-time workers and 28 percent of former part-time workers said unemployment benefits did a better job of covering their basic expenses than working
  • 85 percent said they don’t foresee any major barriers to finding a job by the end of the year, which Morning Consult said would put an estimated 2.14 million people back into the workforce; however, this would still leave the nation down millions of jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels

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