Economy

Slim Majority in U.S. See Good Local Job Market Conditions

Slim Majority in U.S. See Good Local Job Market Conditions
by Nawal Abouelala and Steve Ander

Story Highlights

  • 51% say now is a good time to find a job in their area
  • Those employed full time for an employer are more positive
  • White Americans less likely to rate local job market positively

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are slightly more likely to say now is a good time (51%) rather than a bad time (46%) to find a good job in their local area. Their views of conditions locally are more positive than their views of the U.S. job market more broadly. A separate April 6-10 Gallup poll finds 40% of Americans saying now is a good time to find a "quality job" in the U.S.

Perceptions of Local Job Market, by Employment Status
Thinking about the job situation in the city or area where you live today, would you say that it is now a good time or bad time to find a good job?
Good time% Bad time%
National adults 51 46
Consistently employed 30+ hours per week for an employer 60 38
Employed full time for self/Employed part time^ 47 51
March 31-April 2, 2016; ^Includes those who don't want a full-time job and those who do
Gallup Daily tracking

Gallup's question about local job market conditions augments its ongoing assessments of how the public views national economic conditions. In general, as is usually the case when they are asked to rate local conditions, Americans are more positive about the job situation at home than the situation nationally.

About six in 10 Americans who are employed full time for an employer -- what Gallup considers a "good job" -- rate the local job market positively. This percentage is higher than the national average of 51%, and higher than the percentage among those who have other types of employment (47%). This underscores the degree to which Americans' personal situations act as a filter through which they view the world; as such, those with a "good job" tend to think the climate is better for finding a good job than do those who are not in that position.

Nonwhites More Positive Than Whites About Local Job Market

An identical gap in perceptions of local jobs exists between white U.S. adults and nonwhites, with 60% and 47%, respectively, saying now is a good time to find a good job in their local area. Political party affiliation could be influencing these differences, as nonwhites are generally more likely than whites to be Democrats. The poll finds 63% of Democrats, compared with 40% of Republicans, saying now is a good time to find a good job.

Perceptions of Local Job Market, by Employment Status
Thinking about the job situation in the city or area where you live today, would you say that it is now a good time or bad time to find a good job?
Good time% Bad time%
Whites 47 50
Nonwhites 60 39
March 31-April 2, 2016
Gallup Daily tracking

Bottom Line

The U.S. labor market, like the U.S. economy more broadly, has made incremental gains since the recession. The U.S. unemployment rate is now half of what it was in 2010. Given this, it may be surprising that barely half of U.S. adults currently believe the local economic climate is good for job seekers. However, 2016 is the first time Gallup has asked Americans about local job market conditions on the U.S. Daily survey, and it is likely that today's modest optimism represents a marked improvement over the recession and immediate post-recession years. This would likely parallel the improvement in perceptions of job opportunity nationally, where positive perceptions have increased from 8% in 2011 to 40% or better in recent months.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted March 31-April 2, 2016, with a random sample of 1,526 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. For perceptions of local market, the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For whites, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level and for nonwhites, the margin of sampling error is ±6 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 50% cellphone respondents and 50% 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.


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/190814/slim-majority-good-local-job-market-conditions.aspx
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