- Index generally in narrow range since May
- Overall government net hiring stays flat
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Job Creation Index ended 2014 at +27 in December, eight points higher than where it started in January. The index has remained between +27 and +28 since May, apart from a slightly higher reading in September.
The index gained ground through much of the first half of 2014, increasing two points each month until May, after which it remained flat. For the last eight months, it has been in a narrow range.
The Job Creation Index peaked in September at +30, reaching a six-year high, and giving hope that the index's upward climb would continue in the final quarter of the year. But that did not happen, and the index from October through December retreated to its mid-2014 range of +27 to +28, suggesting it may have plateaued. The current reading for December is one point lower than November's +28.
Gallup's Job Creation Index is a measure of net hiring activity in the U.S., with the December average based on a nationally representative sample of nearly 15,000 full- and part-time workers. December's +27 score is based on 39% of employees saying their employer is hiring workers and expanding the size of its workforce, and 12% saying their employer is letting workers go and reducing the size of its workforce. Forty-two percent reported no changes in staffing in their workplaces.
Nongovernment and Government Hiring Stay Flat
The Job Creation Index among those working in nongovernment jobs, which make up the bulk of employment in the U.S., was +28. Forty percent of nongovernment workers said their employers are hiring, while 12% said they are letting people go.
Meanwhile, government net hiring remained flat in December, at +21. Government employees generally have been less positive than nongovernment workers about job activity in their places of employment. In December, 36% of government workers reported staff increases, while 15% reported staff reductions.
Excluding September's brief peak, the Job Creation Index has essentially remained at the same level for the past eight months, suggesting the job market plateaued in the latter half of 2014.
Still, the score for the final month of the year is markedly higher than in previous Decembers, which reflects the index's long-term recovery since the recession that sent it plummeting in 2008 and 2009. Recent monthly scores indicate that the index is on solid ground, but more telling will be the direction it heads in 2015, now that a six-year high has already been reached.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 1-30, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 14,950 employed 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 ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
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.
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