Gallup’s US Job Creation Index remained at a seven-year high in today’s update for September. Is that a clue for thinking that last week’s disappointing employment report for September is only a temporary setback?
The Gallup index was unchanged in September at +32—for the fifth straight month. This survey-based benchmark isn’t going anywhere, but perhaps the stronger message is that it’s not falling either, which is to say that the index is holding on to the gains of recent years. The polling group notes that the +32 reading “is the highest score Gallup has recorded since it began measuring employees’ perceptions of job creation at their workplaces in early 2008.”
It’s worth noting that jobless claims are still pointing to ongoing growth for the labor market, even if last week’s surprisingly weak increase in private payrolls for September suggests otherwise.
Another reality check arrives with tomorrow’s weekly update on new filings for unemployment benefits. The crowd’s looking for a slight decrease of 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 272,000, based on Econoday.com’s consensus outlook. That’s still close to the four-decade low of 255,000 that was touched in July. If the forecast holds up, Gallup’s encouraging update will resonate a bit deeper on the side of optimism.