Poll Finds Slim Majority Supports Ending Unemployment Supplements, Even as Millions Have Yet to Receive Them

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 25, 2021
GettyImages-1218109894-unemployment-benefits

The New York Times
 is reporting that a slight majority of Americans believe that the federal unemployment supplements should end, even as Bloomberg reports that millions are still waiting on the benefits they applied for ages ago. The Times survey of 2,600 American adults found that 52 percent believe the expanded unemployment benefits, which provide an extra $300 on top of state benefits, should end immediately, swayed by arguments that they're contributing to a labor shortage. This is much higher than the 30 percent who want the benefits to end in September as scheduled and the 16 percent who would like to make the expanded payments a permanent part of the unemployment infrastructure. The results were heavily partisan, as 80 percent of Republicans want the benefits to end immediately, compared to 27 percent of Democrats, which aligns with recent moves by Republican governors to end their states' participation in the program.

At the same time, Bloomberg is reporting that some 9 million people who lost their jobs in the pandemic were left without benefits due to a combination of red tape, technical glitches and false positives on fraud detection. This was a well-known issue last year, as state and federal agencies found their systems overwhelmed by the unprecedented level of demand, leading to major delays, or cancellations, of benefits. In Indiana, for example, only 1 in 3 people who applied for benefits actually received them. Many people who qualified for, but did not receive, benefits are suing their respective states to get the money retroactively, though progress on this front has also been slow.

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.