- Positive views of job market are back to pre-recession levels
- Democrats most optimistic of any major group
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About three in 10 Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job, essentially unchanged from September. The percentage of U.S. adults who say it is a good time to find a job remains at one of the highest levels measured since the 2008 financial crisis. Although the 31% of Americans with positive views on quality job prospects is low on an absolute basis, it is on par with readings in the early 2000s.
These results come from a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 12-15, a time when stock prices were declining, but other economic news was generally positive. The International Monetary Fund earlier this month upgraded its growth forecast for the U.S. economy, and the U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently stands at a six-year low.
Amid this backdrop of economic gains, the percentage of Americans who say now is a good time to find a quality job is one of the highest recorded since the end of the financial crisis and the Great Recession, behind only the 35% who said so in July of this year. The quality jobs trend parallels the slow economic recovery. This measure plunged to an all-time low of 8% in November 2009, recovered slightly and then fell back to 8% in November 2011. Only then did Americans' quality jobs outlook begin its upward climb.
Democrats' Quality Jobs Outlook Remains Most Positive
Nearly half of all Democrats (46%) say now is a good time to find a quality job, higher than the percentage of any other key subgroup. With just a fifth of Republicans saying now is a good time to find a quality job -- on par with the percentage of Americans lacking a high school diploma who say the same -- GOP affiliators are decidedly bearish on the job market. Gallup has previously found that views on quality job prospects are related to partisanship. In particular, those who identify themselves as a member of, or leaning toward, the party of the president are generally more likely to say now is a good time to find a quality job, compared with those who do not identify as a member of or leaner toward the president's party.
There is sustained, but incremental, progress in the share of Americans saying now is a good time to find a quality job. This may be in line with IMF projections suggesting that the U.S. economy is positioning itself to grow faster than originally forecast -- and probably faster than any of its developed-economy peers other than the U.K. and Canada. Still, the slow pace of the improvement probably won't make a convincing political message for Democrats in their campaigns for the upcoming midterm elections.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 12-15, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,017 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, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
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.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.