2021 Ohio Unemployment and Workforce Poll

Publication date: November 8, 2021
Written by: Stefani Buhajla

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed likely Ohio voters on unemployment and workforce issues affecting the state. The results indicate there is significant common ground among voters regarding unemployment program integrity and removing barriers to work.


A majority of likely Ohio voters say they would support shortening the length of time an individual is allowed to collect unemployment benefits to three months when the state’s unemployment rate is low and plenty of jobs are available (54%). This reform, otherwise known as indexing, should be familiar to Ohio legislators; it has been introduced in the past. It is less popular with Democrats (45% support) but is well supported by Independents (58%).

Ohioans across political parties show strong support for the kind of measures that will ensure the integrity of the unemployment program in the Buckeye State.


A majority of Ohio voters support two reforms related to work search activities: Increasing work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits and having the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services actively verify proof of work search.


And a majority of voters support requiring businesses to report individuals suspected of collecting unemployment benefits when they refuse an offer for suitable work, which is typically a disqualifying event.


Nearly eighty percent of voters say they support cross checking unemployment applications against existing data to limit fraud, an unsurprising result given this kind of legislation has recently passed unanimously in seven states.


Polling on occupational licensing issues indicates Ohioans support measures to reduce barriers to work while maintaining public safety. Redundant, expensive occupational licensing requirements cost jobs and keep professionals from making a living. An overwhelming majority of Ohio voters support allowing residents with active occupational licenses in good standing in another state to be granted the same license in Ohio, so long as they pay any required fees and pass background checks (78%). And this measure has bipartisan support with more Democrats (77%) than Independents (75%) supporting it.


Most voters also support allowing individuals to apply on-the-job training toward the education requirements for occupational licenses in their profession.

Interestingly, the same percentage of Republicans and Democrats say they would support this measure (84%). Occupational licensing reforms enjoy broad, bipartisan support that could shore up the workforce and provide more opportunities for job seekers.