Most voters worry about inflation, as sizable majorities call gas and grocery prices a financial hardship. At the same time, they think the federal government’s additional unemployment benefits were a necessary lifeline during the pandemic, but are damaging the economy now. When asked to choose if last year’s expanded jobless benefits were a necessary lifeline for unemployed Americans or an unnecessary paid vacation, by a 62-35 percent margin voters say they were a lifeline.
But when asked about those same benefits today, 53 percent think they are hurting the economy by discouraging people from looking for work, while 45 percent say they are helping the recovery by supporting job seekers. Twenty-five governors are stopping at least a portion of federal unemployment benefits, including the enhanced benefit of $300 weekly, in what they generally say is an attempt to end labor shortages in their states.
Seven voters in 10 (70 percent) call recent increases in grocery prices a financial hardship for their family. It’s a “serious” hardship for 3 in 10 percent (29 percent).