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Three-Quarters of Americans Support Government-Sponsored Worker Training Programs to Assist With Pandemic Recovery

  • Half of respondents in a Pew Research Center poll support major changes to the United States economic system
  • Strongest support is for government-sponsored job and skills training programs
  • Respondents are more divided on issues of business regulation and higher taxes on the wealthy

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Half of Americans support making substantial changes to the economic system in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in the midst of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A substantially higher share agreed that government-sponsored jobs and training programs are needed to help the nation recover from the pandemic.

In the survey, conducted in the fall of 2020, 40 percent of American respondents said major changes are needed to the U.S. economic system. Ten percent said the system needs to be completely overhauled.

Other key findings in the survey include:

  • Seventy-five percent considered it very important for the government to provide job and skills training, with this measure winning broad support across all income and age groups
  • Forty-five percent were supportive of raising taxes on the wealthy
  • Respondents were split on business regulation, with half considering it to be generally bad for the country and 46 percent considering it to be generally good
  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents said only minor changes are needed to the U.S. economic system, while 12 percent said no changes are needed

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