Job market conditions in the United States slid back slightly in February, as Gallup’s Job Creation Index fell to +14 from +16 in January. The February score matches those recorded from October through December 2011. However, the reading last month reflects an improvement of two percentage points compared with a year ago (+12 in February 2011).
Hiring Down, Firing Up
The February Job Creation Index of +14 is based on 32% of workers nationwide saying their employers are hiring workers and expanding the size of their workforce, and 18% saying their employers are letting workers go and reducing the size of their workforce. The percentage hiring is down from 33% in January, while the percentage letting go is up from 17%. Both February percentages now match the readings recorded each month in the fourth quarter of 2011.
What does all mean?
The American economy is NOT dramatically improving on the jobs front. With gasoline prices haven risen and rising and job creation prospects flat around the country in almost all regions – see map at the top), the Obama Administration will have a hard time making a case for success of their economic policies.
Declining consumer confidence is also generally unfavorable for the economy.
Gallup’s March numbers are looking a little better, but stay tuned since it is early in the month.
There will be no carping from the White House on these numbers, in advance of the government’s release of their numbers on Friday.