According to a Morning Consult poll, about 1.8 million out-of-work Americans have turned down jobs because of the generosity of unemployment insurance benefits introduced in response to COVID-19.
Morning Consult surveyed 5,000 U.S. adults from June 22-25 and found that among those actively collecting unemployment benefits, 29 percent said they turned down job offers during the pandemic. In response to a follow-up question, 45 percent of that group said they turned down jobs specifically because of the generosity of the benefits.
Extrapolating from the 14.1 million adults collecting benefits as of June 19, Morning Consult concluded that 1.8 million people turned down job offers because of the benefits.
Twenty-six states have opted to cut the additional benefits early as a strategy to rebuild the workforce, but Morning Consult chief economist John Leer cautions against concluding that the data completely validates that approach.
“Getting people to move from relying on unemployment insurance to wage income doesn’t just automatically happen,” Leer said. “There’s going to be some searching and matching frictions at work.”