News

April 16, 2008Press Release

Americans Want Next President to Focus More on Saving U.S. Jobs and Healthcare; Less on Immigration Reform

Milwaukee, WI –  Americans overwhelmingly want their next President to focus more on improving their standard of living, providing universal healthcare, and stemming the outsourcing of jobs overseas than making it easier for immigrants to live and work in the U.S.,  according to the latest “America At Work” national opinion survey by the non-partisan Employment Law Alliance (ELA).

The workplace-issues poll, based on a sampling of 1,125 working Americans between April 4 and 9, is believed to be the only national survey to date focusing exclusively on a wide range of workplace-related issues that will likely confront the next President, according to Scott Beightol, Esq., a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, and a Director of the ELA. The error interval is +/- 2.99% at a 95% level of confidence.

“While immigration and its impact on the workplace is a significant issue, and a highly emotional one, this poll clearly indicates that it pales in comparison to a host of other issues that American workers are more interested in,” explained Beightol.


A summary of the results, posted in detail at www.employmentlawalliance.com, reveals:

  • 87% of Americans want their next President to focus on increasing the proportion of the workforce earning at least a living wage, closely followed (86%) by making it tougher for companies to outsource U.S. jobs to foreign countries, and (83%) rounding out the Big Three, providing healthcare coverage for all U.S. citizens.
  • 76% of Americans are also concerned - but not at the same intensity level - with having the next President work toward increasing workplace safety regulation, 70% support focusing on expanding family leave rules and 69% think beefing up enforcement of workplace discrimination laws should be a priority.
  • In sharp contrast, 40% said they are concerned that their next President focuses on immigration issues, ranging from making it easier for professionals to work in the U.S. to granting amnesty for illegal aliens.
  • Workers were also significantly split along racial lines regarding both views on workplace issues and immigration reform with, for example, 55% of non-whites supporting relaxing immigration laws for professionals versus 36% among whites.
  • Geographically, 46% of workers in Western states thought the President should make increasing legal immigration a priority compared to a low of 25% among Midwestern workers.
  • 45% of Americans want to make it easier for unions to organize workers.

Beightol stated the survey was conducted prior to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22 to help provide context to a broad range of workplace issues.  The survey is important because of the extent of demographic detail, including gender, race, income, education, and geography. 

“These are very real issues that potentially impact every American worker and every household. The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the country and here we have Americans telling their next CEO what they think should be on his or her agenda when it comes to working men and women,” he explained. “The fact that they want more attention placed on raising their standard of living and creating universal healthcare coverage, and are less concerned with making it easier for unions to organize workers, says something about the state of the country and the state of the economy.”

About The Employment Law Alliance

The Employment Law Alliance is the world's largest integrated, global practice network comprised of premier, independent law firms distinguished for their practice in employment and labor law. Comprised of more than 3,000 lawyers, there are member firms in every jurisdiction in the United States and over 75 countries around the world. Through Scott Beightol, Michael Best is one of the founding members of this global practice network.  For further information, including access to the survey charts and graphs referred to in this release, visit www.employmentlawalliance.com.

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