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U.S. Workers' Reports of Hiring Activity Stable in February

U.S. Workers' Reports of Hiring Activity Stable in February

by Rebecca Riffkin
Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Job creation levels off after November and December drops
  • 41% of workers say their employer is hiring
  • 12% say coworkers are being let go

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. workers' reports of hiring in their workplaces were steady in February. Gallup's Job Creation Index measured +29 last month, the same as in January, but down slightly from the record high of +32 recorded from May through October of last year.


Gallup's Job Creation Index, established in January 2008, fell sharply at the end of that year and bottomed out at -5 in February 2009 as the U.S. economy reacted to the global financial crisis. It slowly improved over the next few years and reached an eight-year high of +32 in May 2015. It remained at that level until October before falling slightly at the end of the year and has since leveled off at +29.

The results are based on interviews with 16,955 full- and part-time U.S. workers conducted from Feb. 1-29 as part of Gallup Daily tracking. Gallup asks employed workers nationwide each day whether their employer is increasing, reducing or maintaining the size of its workforce.

The U.S. Job Creation Index score of +29 in February reflects 41% of workers saying their employers were hiring and expanding the size of their workforce, and 12% saying their employers were letting people go and reducing the size of their workforce. The remaining 42% of workers in February said the size of their workforce was not changing.

The percentage of workers who say their workplace is hiring is down slightly from where it was over the summer, but is similar to what was found in January. However, the percentage of workers who say their workplace is letting people go has been largely consistent for the past year.


Regionally, job creation remained highest in the West, at +32, and lowest in the East, at +26. Job creation among government workers was +25. Among nongovernment workers, who make up the bulk of the U.S. workforce, it was +30. These subgroup differences are consistent with what Gallup found in January. Typically, government workers and workers in the East have been less likely than their nongovernment and West, South and Midwestern equivalents to say their employer is hiring. Since the high of +32 in the national Job Creation Index was first reached in May, the index has fallen among all groups except government workers.


Bottom Line

Workers continue to remain somewhat upbeat about hiring activity at their place of employment, as they have over the last year, compared with less positive reports in 2014 and preceding years.

While Gallup's Job Creation Index suggests little change in hiring activity over the past few months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' job creation report for January fell slightly short of expectations. Many economists are eagerly awaiting the U.S. government's next jobs report as analysts try to assess if this may be the norm for 2016 or if it was an isolated incident. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its next report on Friday, March 4. Gallup's Good Jobs Rate, which measures the percentage of U.S. adults who are employed full time by an employer, will be released tomorrow, March 3.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 1-29, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 16,955 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 workers, 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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