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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' optimism about finding a quality job averaged 56% in 2017, the highest annual average in 17 years of Gallup polling and a sharp increase from 42% in 2016. Coinciding with rising optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from an average 4.9% in 2016 to 4.4% in 2017, the lowest rate since 2000.
Since October 2001, Gallup has asked Americans monthly if it is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job. Historically, Americans' perceptions of the job market have tracked closely with the monthly unemployment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the unemployment rate is low, public perceptions that it is a good time to find a quality job rises. Conversely, when the unemployment rate is high, views of the job market get worse.
Year - Americans - Assessments - Job - Market
Prior to this year, Americans' assessments of the job market were most positive in 2007 (43%) at the start of the Great Recession and least positive its last year, 2009 (10%). Since the job market bottomed out in 2009, Americans' ratings of it have improved steadily, rising to the highest level yet in 2017.
Positivity about jobs among all U.S. adults began to rise on a monthly basis since January 2017, reaching 54% in February 2017. By the end of 2017, it hit 62% in November and again in December. This increase was largely driven by a Republican reversal. The monthly reading for Republicans saying it was a good time to find a quality job rose 20 percentage points to 64% after Trump was inaugurated and ultimately ended 2017 at 78%.
Partisans - President - Party - Views - Party
Partisans who identify with the incumbent president's party typically hold more favorable views than those of the opposing party concerning the economy and other national metrics. While the shift in Republicans' view of the job market was dramatic...
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