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Americans More Optimistic About Job Market in September

Americans More Optimistic About Job Market in September

Story Highlights

  • Forty-five percent say it is a "good time" to find a quality job
  • Highest figure since January, which was a seven-year high

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The percentage of Americans feeling positive about the U.S. job market -- saying now is a "good time" to find a quality job -- jumped six percentage points in the past month to 45%, restoring this figure to the seven-year high it reached in January.

Percentage in U.S. Saying Now Is a Good Time to Find a Quality Job

The latest figure is one of the highest Gallup has recorded since it began tracking the question in 2001. Americans were the most optimistic in January 2007, when 48% said it was a good time to find a quality job. As the recession took hold, optimism for the U.S. job market dropped sharply, and remained in a slump around the 10% mark from 2009 to 2011. The percentage of Americans who said it was a good time to find a job gradually increased in late 2012 and remained on an upward path until January of this year. The index then slumped through August, but has now returned to the January level.


This month's six-point increase is the largest increase of the year so far. Despite this spike in optimism, slightly more than half of Americans (51%) continue to say it is a "bad time" to find a job.

These data are from a Sept. 9-13 Gallup poll. In the week prior to the field period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 173,000 jobs in August and a decrease in the unemployment rate to 5.1%.

Gallup has previously found that Americans' perceptions of the job market's health correlate with their political identification and whether their party occupies the White House. As has been the case since Democratic President Barack Obama took office, Americans who identify as or lean Democratic are a great deal more likely to say it is a good time to find a job (55%) than those who identify as or lean Republican (38%).

Views of Time to Find a Quality Job, by Subgroup

Americans who are currently employed are more positive about job conditions: 49% say it is a good time to find a quality job, compared with 40% of those who are not currently working.

Additionally, job market optimism is higher among younger adults than among older adults, with 54% of adults younger than 30 saying it is a good time to find a job, compared with 37% of those aged 65 and older.

Bottom Line

Americans' improved perceptions of the job market in September come as U.S. workers' perceptions of job creation in their own places of employment continue to be the most positive since 2008. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics' unemployment rate is the lowest rate since 2008.

The increase in positive perceptions among Americans about the job market since August are not, however, reflected in their views of U.S. economic health at large, with economic confidence currently running about -14, compared with -13 in all of August.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 9-13, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,025 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. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View complete question responses and trends.

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