Poll: 47% of Unemployed Americans Have ‘Completely Given Up’ Looking for a Job

By Mike Miller 7 hours ago

President Obama claimed on Monday that Americans are “better off now than when I came into office.” The results of a new Harris poll beg to differ: 47% of the nation’s nearly 10 million unemployed adults say they have “completely given up” looking for a job.
The poll, conducted by Harris for Express Employment Professionals, asked 1,500 unemployed adults to weigh in on their employment outlook:
“This survey shows that millions of Americans are at risk of falling into the trap of prolonged unemployment, and it should give policymakers a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in a release.

“We can take heart that in these difficult times the American spirit of confident hopefulness endures, but we can’t accept this status quo—not for our country, not for our unemployed neighbors.”
Among the findings:

  • 47 percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.”
  • 60 percent say looking for work has been harder than expected. 10 percent say it’s been easier than expected.
  • Nevertheless, 91 percent agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months.”

While Harris found that only 20 percent said they were currently receiving unemployment compensation, the poll also suggests that benefits may have created a disincentive to look for work.
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