National Unemployment Bonus Expiration Poll

Publication date: August 12, 2021
Written by: Stefani Buhajla

Unemployment bonuses and related COVID-19 benefits continue to keep many Americans on the sidelines and out of work. Unemployment benefits are so high that many people can make more money by not working.

We surveyed voters on when they believe bonuses should expire and on the impact expanded unemployment has had on businesses and jobs.

Most Voters Want Bonuses to End

With plenty of jobs, the availability of vaccines, and businesses operating at or near capacity, there is little need for continued unemployment bonuses. A majority of voters support allowing the $300 weekly unemployment bonus to expire in September as scheduled (56%).

More than half of all Independent voters support the bonus expiring in September, as well (56%).


Unemployment bonuses continue to stifle business growth and recovery, so many states have opted to end bonuses early. Almost half of all voters support unemployment bonuses expiring earlier than their scheduled expiration in September (47%).

Unemployment Bonuses Hurt Businesses

Unemployment bonuses have made it easy for many Americans to make more money by not working. Most Republicans (73%) and half of all Independent voters (50%) agree that unemployment bonuses discourage people from working.

More than half of all voters also agree that the weekly unemployment bonus increase has made it difficult for businesses to hire and retain employees (64%).

The negative impact is also apparent in communities: Half of voters know of a business that has struggled to hire and retain staff members due to unemployment benefits and bonuses (50%).

Overwhelmingly, Voters Disapprove

It is apparent that voters increasingly disapprove of how the pandemic is being handled by those at the wheel. A dismal minority of all voters approve of how Congress handled unemployment benefits during the pandemic (36%).

Meanwhile, President Biden has not escaped unscathed. Currently, less than half of all voters approve of the job he is doing as president (43%)—down three percentage points from a similar poll in late July.