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Economy
U.S. Job Creation Index Continues to Hover Below Record High
Economy

U.S. Job Creation Index Continues to Hover Below Record High

by Rebecca Riffkin
U.S. Job Creation Index Continues to Hover Below Record High

Story Highlights

  • Job creation remains below eight-year monthly high measured in 2015
  • Reports of hiring activity in January similar to those in December
  • 41% say employer hiring, 12% say employer letting people go

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. workers' reports of hiring activity at their place of work remained positive in January, though they have fallen from the high point in Gallup's eight-year trend measured last year. Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index measured +29 in January, essentially unchanged from +30 in December, but down from the record high of +32 registered each month from May through October 2015.

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Gallup's Job Creation Index registered +26 in January 2008, the first month Gallup began tracking it daily. It fell sharply throughout that year and hit a low of -5 in February 2009 and again in April 2009. It slowly improved over the next few years and reached an eight-year high of +32 in May 2015. It remained at that high point through October of last year but has fallen slightly since.

Gallup's Job Creation Index measures job creation in the U.S. based on workers' perceptions of hiring and letting go at their places of employment. The January finding is based on a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 full- and part-time adult workers. In January, 41% of U.S. workers said their employer was hiring and expanding the size of its workforce, while 12% said their employer was letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce, resulting in an index score of +29. Another 41% of workers said the size of their workforce was not changing.

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Workers in the eastern part of the country continue to report a slightly worse hiring situation than do workers in the other regions of the country. And nongovernment workers' perceptions of hiring at their workplace continue to be more positive than those of government employees.

Job Creation Index for January 2016, by Subgroup
Monthly averages
Oct 2015 Nov 2015 Dec 2015 Jan 2016
Government +27 +25 +27 +26
Nongovernment +34 +32 +31 +29
East +28 +30 +27 +26
Midwest +34 +31 +31 +30
South +33 +30 +31 +30
West +33 +32 +32 +31
Gallup Daily tracking

Bottom Line

Workers' assessments of hiring activity in their workplaces remain upbeat, but not quite as positive as Gallup found last year. Although hiring activity generally declines in the winter months compared with the summer months, there haven't been obvious seasonal differences in Gallup's Job Creation Index to date.

Job creation varied significantly by state last year. Minnesota had the highest Job Creation Index of the 50 U.S. states in 2015 as a whole, while Alaska had the lowest. Low gas prices appear to have hurt employment in many energy-producing states, like Alaska. However, these same low gas prices are good for consumers and can boost spending, which could lead some stores and retailers to hire more workers.

Another Gallup measure of employment, the Gallup Good Jobs Rate, looks at the percentage of the population who are employed full time for an employer. This index was higher in December 2015 than in any prior December since 2010, also reflecting the generally positive trends in the employment and unemployment statistics in recent years.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 1-31, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 18,139 adults, aged 18 and older, 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 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 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.

Learn more about how Gallup Daily tracking works.

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