Poll: Job creation hovering at six-month high

Job creation is holding steady at a six-year high, a new Gallup poll showed on Wednesday.

The polling group’s job creation index held steady in August at +28, the same as July and only the second month since 2008 in which slightly more workers reported that their employer is hiring.

ADVERTISEMENT

Government job creation continued to improve last month, while private-sector growth dipped slightly, the poll said.

The government will release its August jobs report on Friday. Employers have added more than 200,000 jobs each month for the past six as expectations for further improvement pick up.

Gallup's index is up from +22 in August 2013.

Still, it has been flat since May, when it reached +27, after trending up in the first few months of this year.

The improvement in job creation is good news because it shows that recent gains are holding.

But the labor market will have to show more substantive signs of expansion to reflect a steadily improving economy.

"This is particularly true for private-sector job creation that has been fairly flat over the past two years, while government job creation has consistently edged higher," the poll said. 

"At some point, private-sector job creation will need to show renewed strength to provide the tax base needed to pay for new public-sector jobs."

In August, 41 percent of workers said their employer is hiring and expanding the size of its workforce, while 13 percent said their employer is letting workers go and reducing the size of its workforce, resulting in the +28 net hiring score.

Net hiring increased in August among government workers, rising to +23, up from +17 in July. By contrast, it was +29 among nongovernment workers, slightly lower than the +30 posted in July.

The overall index did not move is because government employees account for 15 percent of the workforce in Gallup's data, whereas 84 percent report not working for the government.

The resulting 6-point gap in reported net hiring between government and private-sector workers last month is the smallest Gallup has recorded since January 2010. That gap has been narrowed by the pick-up in hiring of government workers since early 2013.

Reports of hiring have increased at all levels of government — federal, state and local — since dropping into deeply negative territory between 2009 and 2011.