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Wednesday, January 02, 2013 10:20 PM

Gallup Poll Suggests Private Sector Hiring Down Since April

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Gallup reports U.S. Job Creation Steady in December, but hiring in the nongovernment job sector stalls.

The following charts (trendlines added by me) reflect answers to Gallup's question: Based on what you know or have seen, would you say that, in general, your company or employer is 1) hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, 2) not changing the size of its workforce, 3) letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce.

Percentage of Employers Hiring Minus Those Letting Go

click on any chart for sharper image

The hiring momentum that began in early 2009 slowed in mid-2011. Momentum vanished (at best) in March or April of 2012.

Slowdown in Hiring Since Mid-2011

There appears to be even less momentum from this perspective. However, the first chart is simply a subtraction of the numbers in the second chart.

Factor in Government Employment and Things Look Worse

From this perspective, private hiring peaked in April of 2012 and has since been in a very slow decline.

Meanwhile, states and local governments have been adding workers since the beginning of the year although it is highly doubtful they can afford such actions with private sector running at stall speed at best.

Bear in mind, two things: First, the survey represents what people perceive to be happening at their employer. Actual hiring or firing may be different.

Second, these charts only show direction not size. Thus, a small-sized company laying off a single person counts as much as a larger company that is hiring 40. Of course, the opposite is true as well  (a small-sized company hiring a single person counts as much as a large company firing 40).

However, based on the randomness of the samples, there will be more calls to those working for large-sized companies than those working for small or medium-sized companies and most people are probably aware of what their company is doing.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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