skip to main content

U.S. Workers Continue to See a Deteriorating Job Market

Hiring picture looking grimmer over last several months

PRINCETON, NJ -- American workers continue to report a deteriorating job situation at the companies where they work, with Gallup's hiring measure for Nov. 14-16 showing that 26% of employees say their company is letting people go, 26% say that their company is hiring, and 43% say the hiring situation at their company has not changed.


Gallup's hiring measure asks a random sample of workers interviewed each day as part of the Gallup Poll Daily tracking program if their company is "hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce", "not changing the size of its workforce", or "letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce". When the year began, 40% or more of workers routinely reported that their company was hiring, those saying their company was letting people go was routinely well under 20%. In recent months, however, the percent reporting that their company is hiring has fallen, with a gradual rise in the percent who say their company is letting people go.

There are day to day fluctuations in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking three-day rolling average reports of its hiring measure, and the Nov. 14-16 average is not statistically different from previous days' reports. Still, the broad overall trend continues to be one in which the percentage of workers who say their company is letting people go is rising, while the percentage who say their company is hiring is declining. Today's results mark the first time this year that the percent "laying off" has been as high as the percent "hiring", providing further evidence about the degree to which the faltering economy is leading to workplace layoffs as companies attempt to adjust to today's economic realities.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 891 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Nov. 14-16, 2008 as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.


Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030