The latest unemployment stats bring a timely reminder about the importance of jobs as a central concern of Americans. In his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’ at the Center for American Progress website, TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira, explains just how important jobs are as a public priority in light of the most recent opinion survey data:
There is no question that the public has become more sensitive to the deficit in the last year… The public’s deficit sensitivity does not translate into a view that deficit reduction is a more important priority than jobs and the economy. In a mid-December CNN poll, the public was asked what should be more important for the Obama administration—reducing the deficit even if that slowed down economic recovery or stimulating economic recovery even if that meant less deficit reduction. By 57-40, the public chose stimulating economic recovery.
When the choice was creating more jobs even if there was less deficit reduction or reducing the deficit even if unemployment remained high, the result was even more lopsided. By 3:1 (74-25), the public favored creating more jobs.
Teixeira concludes that “while policymakers should be sensitive to public concern about the deficit, they should not forget that jobs are still the top priority.”