WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index increased slightly in February to +21 from +19 in December and January. The index now exceeds the +20 average for 2013 and is the highest February reading since the beginning of the 2007-2009 recession.
Gallup's Job Creation Index is a measure of net hiring in the U.S., with the monthly average based on a nationally representative sample of more than 15,000 full- and part-time workers. February's +21 index score reflects 36% of Americans saying their employer is hiring workers and expanding its workforce, and 15% saying their employer is letting workers go and reducing the size of its workforce. Forty-three percent of workers said their employer is not changing the size of its workforce, identical to the percentage found in the previous three months.
Reported hiring increased by one percentage point from January, while employee-reduction fell by one point. The combination of these changes resulted in the overall index's increase of two points from January.
Gallup began tracking job creation with this measure in January 2008, and that month's reading of +26 was the highest average index value of any month since. The all-time monthly low was -5 in February and April 2009. The current hiring situation remains improved from the recent lows but still has not quite recovered to levels seen at the beginning of the recession.
Government Workers Report Better Job Creation Conditions in February
Job creation as reported by federal, state, and local government employees increased in February to +13, but the government Job Creation Index remains lower than the +23 found in the private sector. The government index for February improved from the +8 measured in January, and is the best score since September 2008 for this group -- only slightly below the high of +16 found in August 2008, when Gallup first measured government job creation.
State and local government workers continue to report better net hiring conditions than federal workers do, but net hiring increased at least marginally across all levels of government in February. Local government job creation increased six points from January, while state government job creation increased two points. The federal government Job Creation Index increased five points, but continues to be negative.
Private-sector workers continue to report a better hiring situation than government workers, but the index for both sectors improved last month. The recently passed federal budget rolls back some previous cuts, which may have contributed to the rise in federal workers who report the government is hiring. Still, the Job Creation Index for federal workers remains negative and is below the index for state and local employees and for non-government workers.
Gallup.com reports results from these indexes in daily, weekly, and monthly averages and in Gallup.com stories. Complete trend data are always available to view and export in the following charts:
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Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 1-28, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 15,215 employees, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of employed adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.
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 time zone within region. Landline and cellular 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 most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. 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.