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America’s Hidden Common Ground on Economic Opportunity and Inequality

September 24, 2020

The Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground report on Economic Opportunity and Inequality asked Americans about how the nation can create widespread opportunity and build an economy that works for everyone.

The creation of good jobs is a key factor in increasing opportunity and Americans across the political spectrum support many measures they see as steps to building economic promise for individuals. 

 

  • An 80% majority of Americans support creating more good jobs by upgrading infrastructure, including nearly equal majorities of Republicans (83%), Democrats (82%) and Independents (76%). A strong majority (80%) also support retraining programs that would give adults the skills to compete for quality jobs, including similar majorities of Republicans (86%), Democrats (82%) and Independents (78%). Most Americans (72%) support raising the minimum wage, including most Republicans (62%), Democrats (87%) and Independents (69%). The findings showed an increase in support for raising the minimum wage from our Hidden Common Ground survey fielded in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic struck, when 66% of Americans supported raising the minimum wage, including only 48% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats and 54% of Independents.Support for small businesses was also seen across party lines in the new Hidden Common Ground report. Majorities of Americans (78%)–including majorities of Republicans (83%), Democrats (82%) and Independents (71%)–believe that policies to help small businesses thrive would make a difference in their communities economically. By contrast, only 44% say that help for big businesses would make a difference in their community. 
  • These majorities also carry over when asked about social capital in communities. Seventy-six percent of Americans believe that residents having strong connections with each other would make a difference in their community’s economy, including 78% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats, and 67% of Independents. The survey also found that a majority of Americans (69%) say that creating more affordable housing for low- and middle-income families would have a beneficial economic impact in their communities. 

Read the report.