PRINCETON, NJ -- In a month when government workers at all levels reported less hiring at their workplaces, Gallup's Job Creation Index dipped slightly in October to +19, the first time since April the index has registered below +21. From a longer-term perspective, the index in October is similar to its 2012 average and remains higher than the depressed levels seen from the second half of 2008 through 2011.
October's Job Creation Index is based on 36% of all full- and part-time U.S. workers saying their employer is hiring employees and expanding the size of its workforce, and 17% saying their employer is letting workers go and reducing the overall size of its workforce. While slightly worse than what Gallup has found in recent months, last month's +19 index score is the tied for the most positive for any October since Gallup began tracking job creation in 2008.
Government Hiring Down in October
Government workers' reports of net hiring where they work retreated to +6 in October, after jumping five points to +11 in September. Still, the latest level is among the highest Gallup has seen for government workers in the past year. By contrast, non-government workers' reports of net hiring were steady in October at +22, although down slightly from this summer's readings.
In a month notable for the partial federal government shutdown, federal worker reports of net hiring fell six points to -10. However, net hiring reports soured just as much among local government workers, shifting from a +15 net hiring score in September to +9 in October. They also dipped among state government workers, going from +17 to +14.
Net hiring fell slightly in October, entirely due to less hiring at all levels of government, while private-sector hiring held steady. Nevertheless, the hiring picture remains stronger than it has been in recent years, with only federal workers reporting more layoffs than hiring, on balance.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 1-30, 2013, with a random sample of 18,310 adults, 18 and older, who are 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 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.