WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One in four Americans (25%) believe now is a "good time" to find a quality job in the U.S., on par with the average thus far in 2013, but improved from 17% in July 2012 and 10% in July 2011. Still, Americans are much less likely to be optimistic about jobs today than they were in July 2007, prior to the economic recession, when 43% said it was a good time to find a quality job.
Americans' "good time" perceptions have ranged from a low of 8% in November 2011 and November 2009 to a high of 48% in January 2007. Gallup first asked the question in 2001.
Currently, 70% say now is a "bad time" to find a quality job, tying two other readings this year as the lowest level since March 2008. The current level is improved from 81% last July and 88% in July 2011. However, Americans remain more pessimistic than they were in July 2007, prior to the recession, when 50% said it was a bad time to find a quality job.
Easterners, Republicans Less Optimistic About Availability of Quality Jobs
Perceptions of the availability of quality jobs vary among key subgroups. Those living in the East are somewhat less optimistic than those living in other regions on this measure.
Republicans, too, are less optimistic than independents and Democrats about the availability of quality jobs, as are older Americans and whites, compared with their younger and nonwhite counterparts.
As President Barack Obama works to refocus his administration's message on the economy and jobs, Americans' perceptions of the availability of good jobs continue to be better than they had been during the prior 4 ½ years. While the president appears to want to do more to address the jobs issue, focusing on the availability of quality jobs may be important to improving consumers' confidence in the economy.
Gallup's Payroll to Population metric, which estimates the percentage of the U.S. adult population that is employed full time by an employer for at least 30 hours per week, was up to 44.8% in June -- the highest P2P rate measured this year. Still, 17.2% were underemployed, and it is likely that others are doing work that they do not consider to be a quality job.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 10-14, 2013, with a random sample of 2,027 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
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 and cell telephone 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, and cellphone mostly). 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 www.gallup.com.