The March job creation index climbed to plus 32, matching the highest level of its eight-year history. The increase from February's plus 29 reading is the first upward movement since May of last year, when the index first reached the plus 32 level.
The March job creation index for government workers was plus 27, an increase of two points from February's plus 25 and seven points from plus 20 a year ago. The nongovernment workers' index for March increased three points to plus 33.
Job creation indexes for all four major regions -- East, Midwest, South and West -- showed gains in March. The East, which has trailed the other three regions for most of the past three years, climbed closer to them with a four-point gain, from plus 26 to plus 30 in March. The other three regions each gained two points: the South, from plus 29 to plus 31; the Midwest, from plus 30 to plus 32; and the West, from plus 32 to plus 34.
Gallup's Job Creation Index is based on a question that Gallup tracks daily, asking a nationally representative sample of 500 to 600 working adults, aged 18 and older, and reports monthly based on approximately 14,000 interviews. Gallup asks its sample of employed Americans each day whether their companies are hiring new people and expanding the size of their workforces, not changing the size of their workforces, or letting people go and reducing the size of their workforces. The resulting index -- computed on a daily and a weekly basis by subtracting the percentage of employers letting people go from the percentage hiring -- is a real-time indicator of the nation's employment picture across all industry and business sectors. The survey is conducted with respondents contacted on landlines and cellphones.
The hiring and firing trends that are the basis for Gallup's Job Creation Index provide key new insights into the potential future direction of job market conditions. Gallup's Job Creation Index provides information not available in some government indicators. For example, the government's weekly new jobless claims measure only reflects workers filing for benefits, yet not everyone who is laid off files for unemployment. The index may also detect hiring trends days or weeks before they are manifested in the official unemployment rate or other lagging indicators. Gallup has tracked its Job Creation Index daily since January 2008.
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