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U.S. Payroll to Population Rate at 45.7% in October

U.S. Payroll to Population Rate at 45.7% in October

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, was 45.7% for the month of October, up from 45.1% in September, and reflecting the highest percentage of Americans with good jobs since Gallup began Daily tracking of U.S. employment in 2010.

U.S. Payroll to Population Employment Rates, Monthly, January 2010-October 2012

Gallup's Payroll to Population metric is an estimate of the percentage of the U.S. adult population aged 18 and older that is employed full time for an employer for at least 30 hours per week. P2P is not seasonally adjusted.

These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews, conducted by landline and cell phone, with approximately 30,000 Americans throughout the month. The monthly average for October excludes Oct. 29-30, the two days in which Gallup did not poll due to the effects of superstorm Sandy on the East Coast. Adults who are self-employed, working part time, unemployed, or out of the workforce are not counted as payroll-employed in the P2P metric.

Because of seasonal fluctuations, year-over-year comparisons are helpful in determining how much of the monthly changes are because of seasonal hiring and how much are the result of growth in permanent full-time positions. P2P has now improved by more than a full percentage point over October 2011 and October 2010, when 44.4% and 44.3% of Americans, respectively, were working full time for an employer.

Gallup has studied employment worldwide for the last three years, and has shown that P2P is much more predictive than unemployment of a country's economic health and the well-being of its citizens. While P2P is the best metric for measuring the number of good jobs, it admittedly excludes some self-employed and part-time workers who have good jobs.

In October, 4.8% of Americans were self-employed for more than 30 hours per week, and an additional 6.9% of the total population was employed part time but did not desire full-time work. Many of these Americans also have good jobs and are working the number of hours they desire.

U.S. Employment Rates, October 2012


The October growth in P2P employment in the U.S., coupled with the decline in unemployment, is a promising indicator that the jobs situation is improving, and more Americans are returning to work and are finding the good jobs they desire. While the number is up four points over its low point in 2011, there is still considerable room for growth. A large number of Americans continue to be underemployed, and many others may have left the workforce altogether.

Payroll to Population is an important measure to watch as a true barometer of economic improvement. Unlike unemployment rates, the number cannot improve if people drop out the workforce. Any increases in P2P in the coming weeks will be a true indicator that employers are creating good jobs and improving both the economic situation and the well-being of American workers. reports results from these indexes in daily, weekly, and monthly averages and in stories. Complete trend data are always available to view and export in the following charts:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending
Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

Read more about Gallup's economic measures.

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Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking from Oct. 1-31, 2012, with a random sample of 28,295 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling. Interviewing was not conducted Oct. 29 and 30 due to superstorm Sandy.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2011 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

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.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit

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