As Su Faces Confirmation Battle, Swing State Polling Shows Support for Independent Contracting

Voters and workers prefer to let workers choose independent contracting

Apr 19, 2023

Today, Chamber of Progress released new polling from battleground states exploring voter and worker sentiment towards independent contracting and worker classification. 

The polling, which surveys nearly 4,000 registered voters, comes as Julie Su’s nomination to become Labor Secretary heads before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. 

See the full polling results here.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Majorities of voters (60%) and independent contractors (62%) would prefer that the Biden Administration respect the desire of independent contractors to remain independent, even if some contractors would rather be full-time employees. 
  • Majorities of voters (61%) and independent contractors (66%) believe independent contractors are better off as independent contractors than if they were full-time employees. 
  • Three-in-five (58%) voters favor state customization of worker classification policies over one-size-fits-all federal rules.
  • When it comes to public policies impacting gig workers, voters want the Administration to prioritize increasing access to affordable health care (56%), and lowering self-employment taxes. Just 12% of respondents say reclassifying independent contractors should be a priority.
  • Voters overwhelmingly trust workers to decide what job classification is best for them (82%). Only 40% of voters trust the Biden Administration and 29% trust Members of Congress to keep the best interests of independent contractors in mind.

“A lot of workers choose independent contracting in order to set their own hours and be their own boss,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “If Biden’s next Labor Secretary takes that choice away, it would be unpopular with voters and the millions of Americans who rely on gig work to make ends meet.”

As Secretary of Labor in California, Julie Su supported California’s AB 5 law, which would have forced the reclassification of independent contractors as employees. In 2020, Californians voted by a 18-point majority to annul the law with Prop 22.

A gig work policy analysis published by Chamber of Progress found that if the federal government were to pursue the forced reclassification of independent contractors as full-time employees, an estimated 3.4 million American workers could lose work and direct income.


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