Poll: Nearly Half Of Unemployed Americans Not Looking For Work

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A poll of unemployed Americans shows that 43 percent have given up looking for work, even though they are capable of working. Fifty-nine percent of those who have been out of work for two years or more say they have stopped looking.

The poll conducted by Harris for Express Employment Professionals surveyed 1,513 unemployed Americans age 18 and older, providing a starkly different picture after the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in May.

But the low unemployment rate was partially the result of the growing number of Americans that the Labor Department considers not in the labor force.

The labor participation rate declined to 62.6 percent in May with a record 94,708,000 Americans not working or looking for work.

The number of Americans who are suffering from long-term unemployment appear to be in the majority. Fifty-one percent of Americans said that they had not had a job interview since 2014 or before.

The largest group of unemployed Americans are also the youngest, according to the poll.

33 percent are ages 18-29
20 percent are ages 30-39
17 percent are ages 40-49
18 percent are ages 50-59
12 percent are 60 or older

The majority of unemployed Americans appear to have a keen understanding of what raising the minimum wage would do to their job prospects — even though they indicated that they are not interested in applying for minimum wage positions.

Sixty-six percent of Americans agreed that they didn’t apply for jobs offering the minimum way because it wasn’t enough money to pay their bills. But when asked about the proposed $15 an hour minimum wage, 52 percent said it would decrease the number of jobs available. Sixty percent of unemployed Americans in the poll said that small businesses and franchises would suffer the most from a $15 minimum wage mandate.

With both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the race, unemployed Americans appear to be split on their presidential preferences, but favor Democrats.

Twenty-seven percent chose Hillary Clinton, 26 percent chose Bernie Sanders and 23 percent chose Donald Trump.

A majority of those polled signaled a dissatisfaction with the American economic system, as 83 percent said that it “only benefits the rich.”