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U.S. Job Creation Index Ends 2016 on High Note

U.S. Job Creation Index Ends 2016 on High Note

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • At +33, index in December matched nine-year high
  • Previous high in month of December was +30

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hiring activity in U.S. workplaces appeared to be strong in December, as Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index remained at +33, matching the measure's high since Gallup began tracking it in January 2008. The latest reading is up from +30 a year ago.

Job Creation Index -- January 2008 to December 2016

After bottoming out in 2009 amid the global financial crisis, U.S. job creation has steadily improved -- surpassing its pre-recession high of +26 in 2014. The index plateaued in 2015 after years of steady gains, but managed to tick higher to its peak of +33 in May 2016. The index has registered this same high score in nearly every month since.

Gallup's Job Creation Index is based on employed U.S. adults' perceptions of their companies' hiring and firing activity. Gallup asks a random sample of employed adults each day whether their employer is hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, not changing the size of its workforce, or letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce. The resulting index -- computed by subtracting the percentage of employers letting workers go (10% in December 2016) from the percentage hiring (43%) -- is a nearly real-time indicator of the nation's employment picture across all industry and business sectors.

All four regions of the country -- the West (+34), South (+33), Midwest (+33) and East (+31) -- ended the year with slightly stronger hiring rates than they had at the start of 2016.

Job Creation Index, by Region

Bottom Line

Gallup's Job Creation Index was steady at its nine-year high through December. Given that the index has been at +33 for most of the monthly readings in the past year even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen, it's unclear what it would take for the index to rise beyond the current level.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics. reports results from these indexes in daily, weekly and monthly averages and in stories. Complete trend data are always available to view in the following charts:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence, Consumer Spending

Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

Read more about Gallup's economic measures.

View our economic release schedule.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 1-31, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 15,920 workers, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of employed 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 the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

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