Report

Public Uncertain About How to Improve Job Situation

  • June 21, 2010

There is broad public agreement that past government policies intended to address the financial crisis and recession have not worked. At the same time, there is very little agreement about what the government should do now to deal with the nation's biggest economic concern – the job situation.

None of the options currently under discussion for dealing with the job situation are viewed as very helpful. In fact, fewer than four-in-ten say each of these proposals would help the job situation a lot: additional spending on public works (37%); cutting taxes for businesses (36%) or individuals (31%); budget cuts to reduce the deficit (34%); or providing money to state and local governments to help them avoid layoffs (33%).

The latest Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, sponsored by SHRM, which was conducted June 17-20 among 1,009 adults, finds that majorities do think each proposal would at least do a little to help the job situation. Relatively few say the proposals would not help the job situation at all, although slightly more say this about cutting personal income taxes (29%) than the other options.

The survey finds continued public skepticism about the impact of last year's economic stimulus legislation, as well as the government's loans to troubled banks and financial institutions. Six-in-ten (60%) say the stimulus has not helped the job situation while just a third (33%) say that it has helped.

A majority (54%) also says that the government's loans to troubled financial institutions did not help prevent a more severe economic crisis, while 38% say it did help. Opinions about the impact of the financial bailout, like views of the stimulus, have changed little changed since April.

Read the full report, Public Uncertain About How to Improve Job Situation on the Pew Rearch Center for the People & the Press' Web site.