2023 Pennsylvania Workforce Poll

Publication date: June 27th, 2023
Written by: Travis N. Taylor PHD

The Center for Excellence in Polling recently surveyed Pennsylvania voters on their attitudes toward workforce policies in the Keystone State.

Results indicate that voters are widely supportive of policies that will get more Pennsylvanians back to work.

Voters support work requirements for welfare programs


of likely voters say able-bodied individuals without children should be required to work, train, or volunteer at least part time to remain eligible for food stamps. Support for food stamp work requirements transcends party affiliation with 89 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Democrats, and 63 percent of Independents in favor. Similarly, 76 percent of Pennsylvania voters support employment and training (E&T) requirements for food stamp eligibility.


of likely voters support requiring able-bodied adults without young children to work, train, or volunteer at least part time as a condition of living in public housing. Support comes from two in three Democrats (67%) and Independent (65%) and nine in 10 Republicans (91%). To enforce this requirement, nearly seven in 10 (69%) Pennsylvanians say working adults should receive priority placement on public housing waitlists over non-working individuals.


of likely voters support work requirements for Medicaid. This majority of voters say that able-bodied adults should be required to work, train, or volunteer at least 20 hours per week as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.

Unemployment program integrity reforms are popular with voters


of likely voters support verifying eligibility of unemployment applicants. Eligibility verification is popular across party lines, with support from an overwhelming majority of Republicans (93%) along with a large majority of Democrats (69%) and nearly six out of 10 Independents (57%).


of likely voters support meaningful work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment benefits. Two out of three Pennsylvania voters say that individuals on unemployment should perform at least one meaningful work search activity each business day (65%). More than eight in 10 Republicans (82%) along with nearly six out of 10 Independents (58%), and a majority of Democrats (52%) support work search requirements in the unemployment program.

Bipartisan support for regulatory and permitting reform


of likely voters support requiring local governments to review and act on new construction permits within 20 business days, keeping construction workers on the job. A similar number of voters (73%) support reducing permit fees when the government fails to act promptly on a permit.


of likely voters support permit reforms to get teenagers into the workforce. A large majority of voters—including 82 percent of Independents, 81 percent of Republicans, and 58 percent of Democrats—say high school students should be able to work part time without getting a government work permit.


of likely voters say the state bureaucracy should be required to obtain legislative approval of costly regulations before they are allowed to go into effect. This reform is popular across party lines, with support from 87 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats.

The Botton Line

At a time when Pennsylvania has nearly two jobs open for every person on unemployment, Keystone State voters say it’s time to get workers off the sidelines and back to work. Survey results indicate broad and bipartisan support for pro-work policies, and state policymakers have an opportunity to accomplish major victories on popular issues.