A new poll from Gallup shows that people who live in North Dakota report the best hiring situations among their employers, compared with people in any other state. With an index of 34, North Dakota edges out Nebraska (27), Oklahoma (25), South Dakota (25) and Utah (25). A look at unemployment numbers among these states shows that they are among those with the lowest jobless rates. People who have jobs appear to like the job prospects of those around them, what Gallup defines as workers who say their “companies are hiring and expanding the size of their workforce.”
In June, the unemployment rate in North Dakota was 2.9%. Many economists believe that unemployment is 5% in a normal economy. North Dakota apparently has more jobs than people to fill them. Unemployment in Nebraska was 3.8% in June. The states in which people report the most positive impressions of job prospects have similarly low unemployment rates.
The comparison works when the Gallup numbers are measured against state with high unemployment. At the bottom of the polling firm’s survey is Oregon, where unemployment is 8.5%, New York, where it is 8.9%, and New Jersey, where the figure is 9.6%.
This kind of research does not have much value. It tells people what they already know. People with jobs like the prospects of those around them more than people who are unemployed do.
Methodology: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking January 2 to June 30, 2012, with a random sample of 100,406 working adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Douglas A. McIntyre