41% Believe Furloughed Federal Workers Should Look for Private Sector Jobs, 27% Disagree

Several hundred thousand federal workers have been furloughed as a result of the partial government shutdown. Forty-one percent (41%) of voters believe that, in an effort to reduce the federal workforce, these workers should be encouraged to look for jobs in the private sector. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 27% disagree and 33% are not sure.

Most Republicans (52%) think the furloughed workers should look to the private sector while 23% disagree. Democrats are evenly divided with 32% taking each side and another third remaining undecided. Among Independents, 40% want the workers to look to the private sector while 25% do not (see crosstab results).

In the 1990s, recognizing that a government shutdown had little to no impact on most Americans, President Bill Clinton talked a lot about the unfairness of the shutdown to federal employees. President Trump has not addressed this topic.

Overall, voter attitudes towards the plight of the workers seem to be mixed. Most voters (58%) oppose the president’s decision to freeze the pay of federal workers for the coming year. However, when asked if the employees should receive the expected 1.9% raise as part of the plan to end the shutdown, voters are evenly divided–41% say yes and 34% no.

In fact, 32% believe the workers should take a modest pay cut as part of a plan to end the shutdown and restore their jobs. Fifty-one percent (51%) oppose a pay cut for the furloughed workers.

As of January 3 (Thursday), 76% of voters have hardly noticed the partial shutdown of the federal government. That total includes 42% who have felt no impact, 19% who have felt hardly any impact, and 15% who aren’t aware there’s a shutdown. Fifteen percent (15%) have felt a minor impact and 9% claim to have felt a major impact from the shutdown.

Half of all voters (50%) now expect the shutdown to last a few weeks. Nineteen percent (19%) expect it to be resolved more quickly and 16% believe it will take longer. Another 15% are not aware of the shutdown.

Scott Rasmussen’s weekly syndicated column looked at earlier data and concluded that there is likely to be little lasting impact from this political impasse.

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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted January 2-3, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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