U.S. worker statistics mirror pre-recession data


U.S. worker statistics mirror pre-recession data
U.S. worker statistics mirror pre-recession data

A recent Gallup poll showed that the percentage of employed Americans who said they currently work for a private company grew in 2012 to 58 percent, rising from a stubborn reading of 52 percent - where the poll's results sat for the duration of the global economic downturn.

The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who work for private, government, nonprofit and self-run organizations has remained "remarkably stable" in the last decade, despite the recession.

The poll, which was conducted from August 9 to August 12, 2012, provided an update to the responses Gallup has gathered in August every year since 2001. With every survey, roughly 50 percent to 60 percent of employed Americans said they work for a private company, and about 20 percent say they work for the government or are self-employed. About one in 10 say they work for a non profit.

According to the survey, the number of hours Americans work in an average week has also been on a solid plateau in the last decade, suggesting the downturn may not have been as disastrous to the U.S. workforce as once thought. Most workers, or 42 percent, reported working a 35 to 44 hour work week, while 29 percent said they work 45 to 59 hours per week. Another 13 percent said they work more than 60 hours per week. The survey also showed about 17 percent of Americans work less than 34 hours per week.

"These data suggest employed Americans are not working significantly more or less hours today than they were before the global economic collapse, or even prior to that," the report noted.

According to the accompanying report, the data suggest that as the hiring climate and unemployment levels remain uncertain, the number of hours workers are putting in will likely remain the same. However, if the jobs environment improves, even more changes could be seen.

"As more jobs are created, workers may be more likely to jump from their current place of employment to a new opportunity," the report noted. "A more robust economy will likely require more from employers who want to keep their best talent from going elsewhere."

It appears the economy could be headed this way, with the most recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicating that the unemployment rate increased to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent the previous year.

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