It’s no secret that Americans are split about their choice for President, but the employed and unemployed are also closely divided on which candidate they believe will have a bigger impact on U.S. employment if elected, according to the results of a new study of 5,604 active and passive job seekers conducted by Beyond.com, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally.
The survey found that President Obama is favored more by respondents who are employed, by a 7-point margin (50% to 43%), while Governor Romney leads among the unemployed by 6 points (50% to 44%). Further:
- A full 64% believe that how the candidates speak to the U.S. employment situation throughout their campaigns will have a major impact on their selection for president.
- And when asked which candidate would bring better employment prospects for them personally, Governor Romney came out ahead by a margin of 5% (46% to 41%), with 13% believing their job prospects will remain the same regardless of who is elected.
The survey revealed different degrees of optimism (62%) about today’s job market, which breaks down to 26% believing that there are good opportunities out there for them now and 36% that say they are cautiously optimistic despite a difficult employment environment. However, when asked about job opportunities in their own localities, the mood turned more bullish with 73% believing “there are jobs out there for me in my state.”
“Our survey confirms that the hiring picture in one’s own back yard is going to be a determinant of how people will feel when they visit the polls,” said Rich Milgram, founder and CEO of Beyond.com. “While job seekers are hopeful, businesses are more tentative, taking a wait- and-see approach to hiring. With new policies potentially on the horizon, the post-election environment will have a significant impact on the number of immediate opportunities available to the U.S. workforce,” Milgram added.
Among the battleground states of New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado, Beyond.com’s network indicates that recently the most job opportunities are to be found in the Healthcare & Medical field; across positions such as Physical Therapists, Registered Nurses and Medical Assistants, according to Milgram.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently reported that the jobless rate rose in August in 5 of 10 states considered battlegrounds in the U.S. presidential election. Nevertheless, joblessness in six of those 10 states is below the national average of 8.1 percent.
Additional Highlights from the Survey
- While 17% of those surveyed said that they expect the current employment situation to “get worse before it gets better,” twice as many respondents (35%) report a conviction that the current employment situation “will improve” regardless of who is elected.
- A vast majority of respondents (85%) agree that fixing the employment system is a longer-term challenge that would likely take “at least another year” (42.4%) or “several years” (42.7%) to fix.
- Not surprisingly, respondents who are presently employed were twice as likely (33.3%) as those who are currently jobless (17.3%) to agree with the statement “as of today, I believe my prospects for employment are good; there are opportunities out there for me.”
- Respondents believe that the top three industries with the largest growth opportunities after the election will be: healthcare (cited by 35% of respondents), manufacturing (23.4%) and technology (22%).
- Nearly half (45.6%) reported that it was “the economy” that will have the most impact on the growth of middle class jobs.” The number two factor with the greatest impact on growth: small business (23.8%). Only 17.6% viewed “politics” as a major influence on growth.
A total of 5,604 individuals participated in the survey from among the 10 million+ unique visitors to Beyond.com between August 23 and September 19, 2012. Membership in the career network was not required. The margin of error was plus or minus 1.31 percentage points. Respondents included individuals who were “unemployed and looking for work,” “employed and looking for work” and “browsing to keep my options open.”