Getting Good Jobs Gets Easier

During the recession and for several years afterward, the ability of many Americans to find good jobs was eroded. According to new research, the problem has faded, but only among a modest number of Americans. Yet, what was once a large threat to the American economy has begun to abate.

According to a new study by Gallup researchers:

The percentage of Americans saying now is a good time to find a quality job jumped to 36% in December, up six percentage points from November. This is by one point the highest percentage found since November 2007, prior to the start of the Great Recession.

So, while the number has risen, more than half of Americans do believe in the “good time to find a quality job” sentiment.

Among the reasons for the poor jobs climate in the past was the realization among businesses that they could produce as much revenue with part-time workers, that they could avoid paying workers. While that helped margins, it likely hurt consumer spending.

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More data from the study:

When Gallup first asked this question in August 2001, 39% of Americans said it was a good time to find a quality job. Gallup began updating this question monthly in October of that year. The highest “good time” percentage Gallup has found since was the 48% in January 2007, while the lowest was 8% — found several times, most recently in November 2011.

The information confirms what many economists already believed they have proven: 2013 is better than 2011.

Among the barriers experts believe the jobs situation still must overcome are the number of people who have been unemployed for more than a half-year and those who work part time but want full-time jobs. The Gallup data show that these issues have been partially overcome.

The conclusion of the study:

Americans’ perceptions that now is a good time to find a quality job have returned to pre-recession levels, a sign that Americans are seeing improving job conditions. This follows a November increase in Gallup’s Job Creation Index. That month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U.S. unemployment rate stayed just under 6%, at 5.8%. While these indicators are still not as good as what was seen prior to the start of the recession, they are much improved from 2009 to 2011, when the economy was still slowly recovering.

The belief in an improving job market has grown, but many Americans still have reservations.

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