New Survey Reveals Political Opinions of Unemployed Workers

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Express Employment Professionals Releases Survey Revealing Political Opinions of Unemployed Workers

Express Employment Professionals today released results from a new poll of unemployed Americans, revealing mixed views on the Trump administration and policies ranging from immigration to healthcare.

The survey also shows that the unemployed favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

While they are roughly neutral on whether the Trump administration will affect their ability to find a job, they are more favorable to President Trump’s policy stances on illegal immigration and repealing the Affordable Care Act. By a narrow margin, they favor government spending to create jobs over corporate tax cuts.

The national survey of 1,500 jobless Americans age 18 and older was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express between March 14 and April 6, 2017 and offers a detailed, in-depth look at the background and attitudes of the unemployed.

Clinton Beat Trump

Unemployed Americans were asked for whom they voted in the 2016 presidential election.

  •     35 percent reported Hillary Clinton
  •     25 percent said Donald Trump
  •     3 percent said Gary Johnson
  •     1 percent said Jill Stein
  •     34 percent reported that they did not vote. (According to the U.S. Elections Project, 39.8% of all eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 election, indicating that voter turnout, as reported in this survey, was likely higher among the unemployed than the employed. )

Mixed Outlook on Trump Administration

The unemployed were asked, “What kind of impact do you think the new administration will have on creating jobs?”

  •     39 percent said positive impact
  •     35 percent said negative impact
  •     26 percent said no impact at all

Unemployed Americans were also asked, “How do you think President Trump’s policies will affect your job search?”

  •     30 percent said, “They will make it harder for me to find a job.”
  •     30 percent said they were not sure
  •     22 percent said they would have no impact
  •     18 percent said, “They will make it easier for me to find a job.”

Healthcare, Immigration and Tax Cuts

The unemployed were asked “Are you currently receiving health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA also referred to as Obamacare)?”

  •     20 percent said yes
  •     72 percent said no

Jobless Americans were asked to state whether they agree or disagree with various current policy issues:

I am in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA also referred to as Obamacare).

  •     Agree (net): 57 percent

o    Agree completely: 24 percent
o    Agree a lot: 9 percent
o    Agree somewhat: 14 percent
o    Agree a little: 10 percent

  •     Do not agree at all: 43 percent

It would be easier to get a job if there was less illegal immigration in the United States.

  •     Agree (net): 58 percent

o    Agree completely: 18 percent
o    Agree a lot: 12 percent
o    Agree somewhat: 13 percent
o    Agree a little: 15 percent

  •     Do not agree at all: 42 percent

In addition, the unemployed were asked their opinion on the impact of new government spending versus corporate tax cuts. They were asked:

“The federal government is considering various policies to help create jobs for unemployed Americans. Of the two statements below, which ONE do you think would be the most helpful?”

  •     52 percent chose “new government spending for a job program.”
  •     48 percent chose “cutting taxes for corporations so they can hire more workers.”

Country Headed in Wrong Direction

Unemployed Americans were asked, “Would you say things in the country are headed in the right direction, or the wrong direction regarding the economy?” Forty percent (40%) said “headed in the right direction,” while 60 percent said “wrong direction.” Among the employed, 36 percent say the country is on the right track versus 33 percent among the unemployed.

“While Democrats and Republicans seem to be polarized, the views of the unemployed appear to be much more mixed. Despite the political commentary, political opinion is not as black and white—or red and blue—as we are often led to believe. Among unemployed Americans who voted, Hillary Clinton was the clear winner, but in general the unemployed are expressing opinions on healthcare and immigration that might put them more in line with President Trump,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

This study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals and included 1,500 U.S. adults aged 18 or older who are unemployed but capable of working (whether or not they receive unemployment compensation benefits). Excluded are those who are currently retired, choose to stay at home, or are unable to work due to long-term disability. The survey was conducted between March 14 and April 6, 2017.

Results were weighted as needed by gender for age, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' penchant to be online. Totals may not equal the sum of their individual components due to rounding. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

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If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
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