Zippia Poll: 88% of workers think the unemployment system is broken

Kathy Morris
by Kathy Morris
Study - 2 months ago

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  • 1-in-3 Republicans and 7-in-10 Democrats want the CARES ACT extended
  • 32% of workers would be unhappy if their neighbors were making more on unemployment than they do for working, due to “unfairness”
  • The vast majority, 88%, of people disapprove of the current unemployment system

Unemployment is at record highs

Many American workers were greatly relieved by the passage of the CARES ACT, which grants unemployed workers an additional $600 a week until July 31st. However, many still working were frustrated to realize their weekly paycheck is less than they would receive in unemployment.

As the government considers extending the CARES ACT, many argue against extending the $600 a week stipend, arguing it incentivized workers to remain unemployed. Others argue that on standard unemployment benefits it is difficult to get by.

We surveyed 500 American workers to see their thoughts on the unemployment system during this spike of unemployment.

Below are some more highlights from Zippia’s survey:

Other Findings

  • Only 13% of the people surveyed could survive off of standard unemployment benefits for any extended period of time
  • Republicans were 10% less likely to agree freelancers, gigworkers, and the self-employed deserve benefits
  • Most people(58%) agree typical unemployment benefits should be higher– but not 100% of previous pay
  • 3 out of 10 people believe freelancers, self-employed, and gigworkers should always be permanently eligible for unemployment


We surveyed 500 American workers. Each worker was asked the same set of questions about their feelings on the CARES ACT and current unemployment system. Below you can see visualizations of our main findings.

Closing thoughts on unemployment

While many American workers disagree on how to fix the current unemployment system– across party lines, there is a general agreement it’s broken.

While the CARES ACT has decent public approval for passage, there is also a sizable population who balks at the idea of non-workers making more to stay home than they did for working. In general, the American since of “fairness” can be seen throughout the survey response. People strongly agreed with statements such as “no one should make more than someone working.”

However, the same people who disagree with the CARES ACT and worry about fairness in the unemployment system, are just as likely to be unable to make due themselves on unemployment benefits. While most respondents think 100% of standard pay is too much, 58% did agree the current unemployment benefits are just too low. Only 18% think the current amount is sufficient.

While it is too soon to know the long-term ramifications of Covid on social systems, it is clear many Americans have gotten an up front and center look at our unemployment system and found it lacking.

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