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Poll: Nearly half of unemployed have stopped looking for work

A poll released Wednesday shows that 47 percent of unemployed Americans have given up looking for work.

Conducted on behalf of Express Employment Professionals last month, Harris Poll asked 1,500 unemployed adults whether they agreed with the statement “I’ve completely given up looking for a job.”

Seven percent said they “agree completely” with the statement; another seven percent said they “agree a lot”; 15 percent “agree somewhat”; 18 percent “agree a little”.

Eighty-two percent of those polled agreed that they were “becoming more discouraged the longer I am unemployed”.

A large majority of those polled indicated that unemployment benefits were keeping them from searching harder for a job. Politicians have divided largely along party lines over whether to extend unemployment benefits, with Republicans arguing that the benefits provide an incentive to remain unemployed.

Democrats have generally resisted that thinking and pushed for more benefits.

According to the Harris Poll, 82 percent of the unemployed said they would “search harder and wider for a job” if their unemployment benefits ran out.

Sixty-two percent agreed with the statement that unemployment benefits “allowed me to take time for myself.” Forty-eight percent said that because of the compensation they “haven’t had to look for work as hard.”

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