January's Job Creation Index, a measure of U.S. workers' perceptions of the job climate where they work, remained strong with a score of plus 34, slightly above the plus 33 found most months since last May. The reading indicates that many more workers believe their employer is bringing on new employees than letting people go.
Workers in the East continue to report less robust hiring conditions than those in the West, Midwest and South. In January, the JCI score in the East was plus 31 -- significantly below the West (plus 36), Midwest (plus 35) and South (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.