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| Building a National Campaign for a Strong Economy: Fed Up

New Poll: Public Does Not Support Interest Rate Increase

Poll on Monetary Policy Shows American Voters Want Fed to Provide More Support to the Economy

Poll: http://bit.ly/1L4xbLB

Poll Analysis: http://bit.ly/1Q3Pu2S

Today, one week before Federal Reserve officials make a crucial decision on interest rates, the Center for Popular Democracy released a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll showing that the American public does not support an interest rate increase. 

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, shows that large majorities of the voting public believe that the economy is still too weak and that the Fed should focus on helping to create more jobs and higher wages. The poll also asked voters their opinions regarding Federal Reserve governance and transparency. In recent weeks, several Fed officials have indicated that they think the economy is ready for an interest rate hike, despite continued labor market slack, low wage growth, and disappointing jobs figures. Among the poll’s key findings:

  • 62 percent support keeping interest rates low, while only 30 support raising them
  • By a 55-38 margin, voters think the Fed should prioritize creating more jobs and higher wages over ensuring that inflation does not get any higher
  • 71 percent think the public does not have enough input into Fed’s process
  • While all respondents cited high unemployment and low wages as problems for the economy, Hispanics and African Americans were more likely than whites to rate these as major problems

The full poll results are available here, and an analysis is available here.

“Before the Fed slows down the economy, they should consider the perspective of working Americans,” said Connie Razza, Director of Strategic Research at the Center for Popular Democracy. “This poll shows that strong majorities do not feel the economy is ready for higher interest rates, and that ongoing unemployment and stagnant wages are a major concern for the American public. Going forward, the public is demanding greater input in Fed decisions and changes in Fed governance, and that the Fed takes wage and job growth more seriously when making its decisions.”

“The labor market remains far from fully recovered, as evidenced most clearly by the anemic wage-growth seen since the recovery began in 2009. And clear potential headwinds in coming months – the slowdown of the Chinese economy and the possible additional fiscal drag if sequester cuts are not reversed – argue strongly that the Fed should not pullback on monetary policy support for the recovery,” said Josh Bivens, Director Research and Policy at the Economic Policy Institute.

Just two weeks ago, members of the Fed Up coalition, led by workers, economists and advocates, held a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. adjacent to the Federal Reserve’s own symposium. The coalition delivered more than 119,000 petition signatures calling on the Fed to keep interest rates low to allow for more jobs and higher wages. Over the past weeks, numerous influential voice – Gene SperlingLawrence SummersJoseph Stiglitz, the NY Times Editorial Board, the chief economist of the World Bank, among others – have spoken up against the Fed’s intentionally slowing down the economy.

These polling results shows that the American public agrees.


The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda.