Forced to choose, Americans prefer more jobs over higher wages, poll shows

A majority of Americans want elected officials to focus more on creating new jobs rather than boosting wages, according to a new American Barometer survey. 

The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 60 percent of Americans polled said they wanted elected representatives from their area to focus more on creating new jobs. 

Forty percent of respondents said they wanted their elected officials to focus on increasing wages. 

The U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, while unemployment held steady at 3.9 percent, nearly making an 18-year low. 

Wage growth also increased, with average hourly earnings up 2.9 percent for the year, marking the fastest growth since the end of the recession in 2009. 

Real Clear Politics executive editor Carl Cannon said more voters could have chosen jobs to be a prime focus for elected officials over wages because they do not like being micromanaged by government. 

"That poll said 'politicians in your area,' that was an interesting thing, and it jumped out at me because they're not talking so much now about President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE and the Chinese, they're talking about these city councils all over the place," Cannon told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

Cannon went on to use the vote in Washington, D.C. on Monday to raise the minimum wage for the restaurant's servers as an example of local government getting involved in wages. 

"It's good progressive politics to make these restaurants pay a living wage. I get that, but it looks like micromanaging to a lot of people," he said. 

President Trump and Republicans have frequently touted low unemployment, tying job gains to the administration's economic agenda. 

The American Barometer poll was conducted on September 14-15 among 1,000 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent. 

— Julia Manchester