Hope on landing ‘quality’ job improves, yet still lowNews added by Benefits Pro on March 10, 2014

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By Dan Cook

The typical U.S. employee has undergone a significant change in attitude about their job in the last 15 years. Where once, not even two decades ago, people either felt they had a “quality job” or thought they could find one, today, that is no longer the case for most American workers.

That’s the conclusion drawn by Gallup, which just completed its latest survey in which it asked more than 1,000 Americans if they thought the present was a good time to look for a quality job. And while the percentage who said “yes” – 27 percent — is up from some alarming trough years, it is still, Gallup opines, discouragingly low.

“The fact that 70 percent of Americans continue to say it is not a good time to find a quality job is an important indicator of the still-shaky nature of the U.S. economy,” Gallup said in a news release. “The current perception that it's not a good time to be looking for a job can translate into restraints on consumer spending, major economic commitments, moving, and other actions that could stimulate the economy.”

Gallup has been doing the survey since 2001, when optimism was high, around 40 percent. As the economy boomed on the promise of skyrocketing real estate values, that number rose to 48 percent in 2007. It dipped to 30 percent in 2008 as people began to sense what was coming, then cratered to as low as 8 percent during the subsequent recession.

Gallup also noted that the shift is even more dramatic compared to similar data reported in 2000 by the University of Connecticut, which found that 78 percent of those surveyed felt it was a good time to find a quality job.

“Thus, while the current results on this measure are more positive than the recent lows, they are far more negative than at times in the past, and continue to reflect Americans’ generally pessimistic views of the U.S. job market,” Gallup said.

Gallup also reported results by political affiliation and found, not surprisingly, that when Republicans were in charge of the government, Republican workers were more bullish. When Dems ruled the world, the Democratic worker felt better about finding a quality job.

But neither party affiliate is especially bullish these days, Gallup found.

“Thus, the currently depressed views of the job market reflect relatively dour perceptions among those who identify with both parties. The view among Democrats that it is a good time to find a quality job has yet to surge under the current Democratic president to match the level of optimism Republicans had about jobs under the last Republican president. Meanwhile, Republicans’ optimism during the Bush years collapsed as Obama took office, and shows only modest signs of recovering,” Gallup said.

Gallup also found that “younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have been at least as positive as any other age group about the job market, but that pattern has become most pronounced since Obama took office. Those aged 65 and older have generally been the most pessimistic, although not always more so than other age groups.” But American youth were more bullish than their elders during the Bush years as well, Gallup said, so perhaps the results are partly attributable to “a general youthful positivity about jobs.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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