Americans See Best Quality Job Market In U.S. In Five Years

Filed under: Finding a Job,Labor,News,Politics,The Economy |

By Dennis Jacobe, Gallup Chief Economist– Twenty-six percent of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job — the highest since March 2008.

online ad decline, labor demand weakThis is also up from 22% in March and from 21% a year ago, but not much different than the 25% who said the same in January.

At the same time, 71% say now is a bad time to find a quality job, down from 74% in March and about on par with the 70% in January.

At least eight in 10 Americans believed it was a bad time to get a quality job during all of 2009 through 2011, and for many months in 2012. Seventy-seven percent said it was a bad time to find a quality job a year ago.

Quality Jobs: Implications

Gallup’s quality job measure provides a somewhat different window into the U.S. job market than do most other employment statistics. Generally speaking, most of the jobs created in recent years have been concentrated in low-paying, low-skilled jobs.

As a result, many Americans see the availability of quality jobs as highly limited. From this perspective, the fact that Americans’ perceptions of the availability of quality jobs are at a five-year high is positive for job seekers and the overall U.S. economy.

On the other hand, that one in four Americans think it is a good time to find a quality job and most still think it isn’t reflects not only slow economic growth, but also differences by industry.

For example, Americans involved in the energy industry may see quality jobs as readily available, while those in banking and finance may not do so.

In this regard, the fact that there are few differences in quality job perceptions by education may be significant.

Having a good education may not be enough to guarantee a quality job in the difficult job market of 2013. Instead, quality job seekers may be required to have not only a good education, but one that matches the jobs available in the select areas of rapid growth in today’s U.S. economy.


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