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U.S. Job Creation Best in Five Years

U.S. Job Creation Best in Five Years

More workers report that their employers are hiring; fewer see people being let go

by Elizabeth Mendes

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index increased to 22 in May, the highest score for any month since April 2008.

The Job Creation Index is now much improved from the all-time monthly low of -5 recorded in February and April 2009.

The net job creation score is based on 37% of workers telling Gallup that their employer is hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, and 15% saying their company is letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce. The percentage "hiring" is the highest since August 2008 and the percentage "letting people go" is the lowest since March 2008.

2008-2013 Trend: Reports of Hiring and Letting Go, Among All U.S. Workers

Workers across many regions and in various groups are giving Gallup some of the best job creation reports in five years:

  • Job creation in the East (20) and West (21) improved to the best levels seen since mid-2008.
  • Net job creation also improved in the South (21) in May, but is not quite as high as it was in April 2012 (23), although it is still among the highest levels for the region on record.
  • While job creation in the Midwest did not improve in May, it is the highest (22) for any region, as has been the case throughout this year and during much of 2012.
  • Nongovernment employees continue to report job creation at their workplaces that is among the highest since Gallup began tracking job creation daily in 2008.
  • Federal government workers' job creation reports continued to improve in May, following a collapse in March after the federal budget sequestration cuts went into effect. But, net job creation for this group remains in negative territory at -7 in May.

2008-2013 Trend: Job Creation Index Among Nongovernment and Federal Government Workers

Bottom Line

Job creation, according to American workers' reports, is now the best it has been in about five years. Improvements in the East, South, and West, as well as among nongovernment and government workers, led to the increase in overall net job creation in May. It is possible that last month's increased job creation is at least partly tied to seasonal factors; hiring tends to pick up in the spring each year. If job creation improves further in the months ahead, it could be a strong sign of real improvement in the job market. 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

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Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking May 1-31, 2013, with a random sample of 18,259 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 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 of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cellphone 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 to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

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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