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U.S. Job Creation Steady in October Near Four-Year High

U.S. Job Creation Steady in October Near Four-Year High

Midwest continues to have the highest Job Creation Index score; West has the lowest

PRINCETON, NJ -- U.S. workers reported little change in net hiring at their workplaces in October, with the Gallup Job Creation Index averaging +19 for the month, similar to the +18 recorded in September. The index has been between +17 and +20 since March, essentially hovering at the highest levels seen since mid-2008.

U.S. Job Creation Index, Monthly Averages, January 2008-October 2012

The Job Creation Index in October reflects 35% of U.S. adult workers saying their employers are hiring and expanding the size of their workforces, and 16% saying their employers are letting workers go and reducing the size of their workforces. Both components of the index have also been steady in recent months.

Hiring and Firing Nationwide, Monthly Averages, January 2008-October 2012

Midwest and Non-Government Hiring Remains Strongest

Hiring is strongest in the Midwest, where the Job Creation Index was +23 in October, followed by the South at +19. This conforms to Gallup trends since late 2010 showing the South and Midwest consistently outpacing the East and West in job creation.

Net hiring also remains solidly positive in the private job sector, at +22 in October, and is more robust than government hiring, which averages +4. However, among the various levels of government, state government hiring is relatively strong, at +11, compared with +2 for local governments and -5 for the federal government.

Gallup Job Creation Index -- Recent Monthly Averages by Region and Type of Employer

Bottom Line

At +19, Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index remains fairly positive, and much improved over 2009, when more employees reported a net loss of jobs where they worked rather than a net gain. However, the momentum in hiring seen earlier this year has clearly stalled, thus failing to restore the index to the higher levels seen at the start of 2008. Americans' economic confidence wasn't robust even then; still, fully 40% of U.S. workers said their employer was adding workers and only 14% letting go, for a net-hiring score of +26.

With the 2012 election over, and both government and private employers able to better evaluate what the future will hold, hiring may again start to move. Whether it moves in the right direction will partly depend on the confidence that employers and government leaders have that the same divided government in charge of setting national policy for the last two years will be better able to address the nation's economic challenges in the next two. 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 Oct. 1-31, 2012, with a random sample of 16,498 adults, aged 18 and older, employed full or part time, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of employed 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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