Majority of Americans Broadly Supportive of Additional Coronavirus Stimulus, According to Study

From Franklin Templeton/Gallup
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Support generally holds across demographic subgroups; additional unemployment assistance does not blunt workers’ desire to return to work

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid a pandemic that has exposed the polarization and political fault lines in American society, U.S. adults of all political stripes largely agree on the need for another one-time stimulus payment of at least $900. The latest findings come from the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, an ongoing effort to understand and track Americans’ behaviors and readiness to resume pre-COVID-19 behaviors.

As Congress remains deadlocked in talks over the next coronavirus stimulus package, 70% of Americans support an additional Economic Impact Payment to all qualified adults. Majorities of all political affiliations agree; however, support ranges from 64% of Republicans to 82% of Democrats. Similarly, large percentages of other demographic subgroups are generally aligned on the need.

How much should the next stimulus payment be?

Among those who support an additional stimulus payment, there is even greater unanimity as to the way forward along political lines. Sixty-six percent of supportive U.S. adults would value the next payment at $900 or more, potentially bringing it in line with or exceeding the initial round of payments. Sixty percent of Republicans, 65% of independents and 68% of Democrats would support this maximum amount. 

By contrast, older supportive Americans are much more likely to want the maximum amount. Forty-two percent of supportive Americans aged 18 to 34 would back the maximum amount, while more than 70% of those 45 and older feel the same.

Additional unemployment benefits unlikely to undermine likelihood of returning to work

The additional unemployment benefits supplied by the federal government through July have been criticized by some for disincentivizing workers from returning to the job they held before the pandemic. However, there is little evidence from this study to suggest that reinstating additional unemployment benefits would keep people from returning to their previous job.

By randomly selecting a theoretical supplement value for each respondent -- $150, $300 or $450 -- Franklin Templeton and Gallup assessed the effect on desire to return to work. In general, the amount had very little impact – those getting an additional $450 a week were just as likely as those receiving an additional $150 to say they were “very likely” to return to work.

“The latest results show that Americans rationally understand the greater long-term security of returning to work rather than relying on ongoing government assistance,” said Sonal Desai, chief investment officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income. “This suggests that an additional round of enhanced unemployment benefits could provide further support to household incomes without becoming an impediment to the recovery.”

“People want to get back to work, but many still can’t because of the pandemic,” said Jonathan Rothwell, Gallup principal economist. “These results suggest that providing much-needed relief to unemployed workers won’t harm the economic recovery.”

Read the full findings, including a methodology statement, here.

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, alternatives and custom multi-asset solutions. With offices in over 30 countries and 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has more than 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of July 31, 2020. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.

About Gallup
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.