extra 600 unemployment extension
Updated November 06, 2020

Fewer Than 1 in 3 Americans Think the Extra $600 in Unemployment Benefits Should Be Extended

COVID-19

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As COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, the United States emerged as a coronavirus hot spot — leading the globe in cases and deaths from this virus. The latest jobs report indicates an overall nationwide unemployment rate of 11.1 percent.

In all, more than 40 million Americans have tapped into unemployment benefits at least temporarily since the middle of March when the country began shutting down because of the pandemic.

To help combat the financial crunch much of the country has felt from the pandemic, one of the lifelines Washington D.C. created for those who lost a job was ramped-up unemployment benefits. Americans who filed for unemployment were able to collect an extra $600 in benefits per week.

This extra $600 benefit is slated to expire on July 31, and while Democrats pushed for this benefit to be extended through early 2021 in the HEROES Act that passed the House on May 15, Republicans are hesitant to extend these “supercharged” unemployment benefits.

With the cut-off date for the extra $600 looming — and the Senate not back in session until next week — Money Done Right created and performed the June Unemployment and Stimulus Survey to gauge public support for the extra $600 unemployment extension some citizens have said they’d like to see.

Key Findings

  • About 49% of Americans surveyed think the extra $600 is beneficial to our economy. Almost half, 44%, said the additional $600 weekly benefit shouldn’t be extended after it expires on July 31.
  • 1 in 2 Americans (51%) think if the extra $600 is extended it would increase the unemployment rate.
  • More than 80% don’t feel favorably about the extra $600 and more than half of the 80% (44%) think it is VERY unfair.
  • 27% of respondents believe that between 40% to 60% of those unemployed would make more on unemployment than by working if the $600 per week extension is granted.
  • Only 18% of those surveyed think the chances of another stimulus check are good.
  • Surprisingly, more than 1 in 5 Americans (22%) don’t have an opinion about whether another stimulus check is necessary for our economy. The rest of the population was fairly evenly split between whether another check was necessary.
  • A total of 78% feel their financial position will worsen or stay the same by the end of the year.

Most Americans Don’t Think the Extra $600 Is Beneficial to the Economy

While Americans are worried about the impact of coronavirus on everyone’s physical health, another great concern arising from the pandemic is the health of the U.S. economy. Less than half of the survey respondents felt the extra $600 a week was going to benefit the economy.


Less than one-third of those surveyed, 30.4%, believe that the additional $600 per week is very beneficial to the economy. Another 18.7% think it is somewhat beneficial for the economy.

Another 18.4% felt it wouldn’t do any good or harm to the economy — that it would be neutral.

Almost one-third of the respondents felt the measure would be harmful in some way to the economy, with 14.6% feeling it would be somewhat harmful and 18% saying it would be very harmful.

Most Americans Don’t Think the Extra $600 Should Be Extended in Full

As states across the country continue with their reopening plans, the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery. In June, 4.8 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy, and the unemployment rate improved from May.

That may be part of the motivation why this survey showed that 44.4% of the respondents felt the $600 weekly benefit shouldn’t be extended, in any amount, when it expires on July 31.

Another 22.8% supported an extension of a lesser amount but didn’t think it should be the full $600 amount. About one-third, 32.8%, did support extending the full $600 weekly benefit.

Most Americans Think That Extending the Extra $600 Would Increase Unemployment

With reports of workers asking to be laid off because they’ll earn more on unemployment, it’s not surprising that the majority of those surveyed think that an extension of the extra $600 will lead to more unemployment. Just over half thought it would, including 26.6% who feel it would strongly increase the unemployment rate and 24.3% who feel it would somewhat increase the rate.

Almost one-third, at 30.9%, felt it wouldn’t affect unemployment rates at all if the full weekly benefit was extended past July 31.

A much smaller group, 11%, said the extended benefit would strongly decrease the unemployment rate. Only 7.1% said the benefit would somewhat decrease unemployment.

Most Americans Think It’s Unfair That Some Make More on Unemployment Than Others Do While Working

The extra $600 weekly, temporary unemployment benefit was supposed to take some of the financial sting out of being unemployed. Regular unemployment is not meant to pay 100 percent of your lost wages, so this measure was created as a safety net to ensure the financial health of those whose jobs were affected because of coronavirus.

But there are those who argue that the $600 extra benefit per week discourages people from wanting to work. Those against the measure claim that people who receive it have no incentive to look for work. Almost half of those surveyed, at 43.7%, said it was very unfair that people who are unemployed are making more money than those who are working. Another 16.4% said it is somewhat unfair.

Some people, 20.5%, took the approach of it is what it is, saying it was neither fair not unfair. A much smaller percentage felt it was fair, with 12.8% saying it is very fair and 6.5% saying it is somewhat fair.

If the July 31 deadline were extended, respondents were asked to weigh in on what percentage of unemployed workers they think would make more money not working than they would by working. Almost one quarter, at 26.8%, estimated that between 40 – 60% would make more on unemployment than by working.

The results from the other categories were:

  • 18.5% said less than 20% of people would earn more by being unemployed.
  • 24.7% said between 20 – 40%.
  • 12.2% said between 60 – 80%.
  • 17.8% said more than 80%.

The right answer is more than 80% according to a Congressional Budget Office report issued last month.

Less Than 20% Are Confident Another Stimulus Check Will Happen

It seems that every day a new headline from some publication analyzes the possibility of Americans receiving another stimulus check. It’s something people are highly interested in, whether they’re unemployed or not.

But many people aren’t holding their breath, waiting for another stimulus check. The chance of getting another check is somewhat bad according to 20.9%, while 21.4% felt it the chance was very bad.


Less than one-first of respondents held out hope that the chances were good, with 8.4% saying the chances are very good and 9.3% saying the chances are somewhat good.

The most popular response was that the chances of receiving another check was 50/50, with 39.9% choosing that answer.

Americans Are Split on the Necessity of Another Stimulus Check

While everybody loves getting free money, some aren’t as enthused if they think it’s going to be hard on the economy or isn’t necessary in the first place.

The results from this survey question were pretty even across the board.

The most popular answer, at 26.1%, is that another check is very necessary. Here is how the rest of those surveyed reacted.

  • 21.8% had no opinion either way.
  • 20.6% said another is very unnecessary.
  • 18.1% said another check is somewhat necessary.
  • 13.4% said another check is somewhat unnecessary.

Most Americans Think They’ll Be in the Same Financial Position at the End of the Year

Despite the economic challenges the country is facing, some people are optimistic about their financial outlook. Over half of respondents think they’ll weather 2020 just fine money-wise, with 51.1% thinking they’ll be in the same financial position at the end of the year.

More than one-fifth think their financial outlook will improve, with 8.9% saying they’ll be in a much better position and 12.9% saying they’ll be in a somewhat better position.

More than one-quarter, though, felt their financial position would deteriorate, with 11.5% saying they’ll be in a much worse position and 15.6% saying they’ll be in a somewhat worse position.

Methodology

The June Unemployment and Stimulus Survey collected the responses of 1,001 adults of all ages and both genders from June 16 to June 18. The audience was users on websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network. Of the respondents, 92.9% were not currently collecting unemployment benefits at the time of the survey.

Shannon Serpette

Shannon is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in English from Illinois Wesleyan University before beginning her 20-year career in newspapers. When she’s not spending time with her children, she is often pursuing her favorite hobbies — running, metal detecting, kayaking, and reading about personal finance.

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1 Comments

Hi Shannon, very interesting survey. As of right now, the extra $600 per month will be extremely beneficial to our family, if extended past July. However, I do believe it holds people back from returning to work. So, in that regard, I don’t think it’s a great idea for our nation unless it’s massively more effective in combatting the coronavirus than social distancing, facemasks, and whatever other precautions people and businesses can take. I’m just glad I don’t have to make that decision and send my condolences to anyone reading this who has lost someone close to them due to COVID-19.

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