54% Recognize That Fewer People Are Working Today Than Before the Pandemic; 21% Mistakenly Believe More People are Working

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters recognize that fewer Americans are working today than before the pandemic. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 21% mistakenly believe more people are working, 11% say about the same number, and 13% are not sure.

Those totals include 9% who think the number of workers today is “Much Higher” and 26% who say “Much Lower.”

Compared to pre-pandemic totals, there are currently 3.9 million fewer Americans with jobs. In February 2020,  152.5 million Americans were employed. Today, 148.6 million have a job. Those figures may understate the shortfall. The population has grown since the pandemic began, which normally lead to an increase in the number of working Americans.

The highest level of misunderstanding is found among voters with a postgraduate degree. Fifty percent (50%) of them mistakenly believe more people are working today. Just 36% recognize that there are actually fewer workers today. A solid majority of those without a college degree have an accurate perception.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republicans recognize fewer people are working today. So do 58%  of Independent voters. Democrats are evenly divided. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of those in President Biden’s party mistakenly believe more people have jobs today; 37% are aware that  there are fewer people working today.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


Immediately prior to the pandemic, 152 million Americans had jobs. Is the number of people with jobs today higher or lower than before the pandemic?

9%    Much higher

12%    Somewhat higher

11%    About the same

28%    Somewhat lower

26%    Much lower

13%    Not sure


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on December 8-10, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Posted in Poll Results

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