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Friday, December 31, 2010

Weekly Hot List

Fast facts from Gallup related to top stories in the news:

Blizzard Effect: 50%+ consumer spending drop in blizzard-hit regions

Christmas Spending: $183 daily average among upper-income shoppers points to strong finish

Consumer Confidence "Surprise": -26 Economic Confidence Index score predicted the decline reported by the Conference Board

Reigning Champs: 3rd year straight for Barack Obama as Most Admired Man, 9th straight for Hillary Clinton as Most Admired Woman

Religious Nation?: 70% in U.S. say religion is losing its influence in America

To get all of our stories, sign up for All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mark Your 2011 Calendar to Stay Ahead of the Economic Curve

Yet again, the day's economic news isn't news to us. The Conference Board's report that consumer confidence "unexpectedly" declined in December is something we predicted in our own story on economic confidence.

Specifically, our Chief Economist Dennis Jacobe reported that Gallup found economic confidence down over the first four weeks of December, compared with last month and one year ago. He anticipated that today's Conference Board report would also show a decline, consistent with Gallup's findings, even though the Reuters/University of Michigan survey reported an increase.

Gallup's findings are based on our Gallup Daily tracking, with which we interview nearly 3,000 U.S. adults about the economy each week. We report at least monthly on economic confidence, employment, job creation, and consumer spending -- almost always before other comparable reports come out.

To stay ahead of the economic curve and not find yourself unexpectedly surprised, mark your calendar with our complete economic release schedule for 2011. Every report comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET on the release day noted. You can receive them all as soon as they are published by signing up for our Economy e-mail alerts or RSS feeds.

Additionally, you can see our trends in the making by tracking -- and even downloading -- our daily and weekly averages, via the following charts:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence and Job Creation, Consumer Spending
Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

To learn more about how our economic metrics work and read more, e-mail SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Weekly Hot List

Fast facts from Gallup related to top stories in the news:

Lame-Duck Report Card: 5 of 6 issues on Americans' priority list got the green light

START Treaty: 51% were in favor; 30% were opposed

Online Tracking: 67% oppose advertisers using web history to target ads

Christmas Shopping: $99 daily average from Dec. 19-21 shows pre-Christmas surge

Christmas & Religion: 51% who celebrate say the holiday is strongly religious for them

To get all of our stories, sign up for All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

America's 308,745,538: Who They Are & How They Feel

The U.S. Census tells us that there were 308,745,538 Americans as of April 1, 2010, which is useful information to be sure. The numbers tell us our nation is growing, but not at the same rate as in the past. But the real question is what's behind these numbers? And especially, who is behind these numbers?

If you remember filling out your census form earlier this year, you'll remember that there really wasn't much to it. Just a few basic questions about where you live, your race, gender, and age.

In thinking about the results, one might wonder why people choose to live in city A over city B, what a person's age and race says about his or her health habits, or how many people out there are similar to you. Beyond the basics, you might also be curious to learn how a person's economic or employment situation affects where he or she lives or how the wellbeing of single people varies from married people or those with children. The list of questions about the people behind these numbers is endless.

That's where our Gallup data fill the knowledge gap. In our report on the 1 million surveys we conducted between January 2008 and October 2010, we report in detail -- and with unprecedented precision -- on the makeup of the American population today. We know about their day-to-day mood, their health status and health habits, and the collective wellbeing of the communities in which they live. We also know things such as how their occupation, employment status, and level of religiosity relate to their wellbeing.

And of course, it doesn't end there. If you're wondering anything about what America's 308,745,538 residents -- or the world's 6 billion citizens for that matter -- are thinking and feeling, try searching by key word at http://www.gallup.com. If you don't find your answer there, e-mail us at gallup_news@gallup.com. If we know, we'll tell you. If not, we'll consider finding out.

To make sure you're always up to date on the real people behind America's head count, sign up to receive All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS feed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekly Hot List

Fast facts from Gallup related to top stories in the news:

U.S. Tax Bill: 49% wanted Congress to pass the tax package; 32% did not

Liberal Revolt?: 79% approval for Obama among liberal Democrats last week was lowest yet

Legislative Report Card: 13% approval rating for Congress is lowest in Gallup history

Shoppers' Moods: -31 Economic Confidence Index marks a decline from last month

Latin America Rains: 28% in region say they are prepared for a natural disaster

To get all of our stories, sign up for All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's Coming Your Way in December

As we enter the last half of the last month of 2010, we at Gallup.com are doing anything but winding down. Here are some of the stories you can expect from us over the next few weeks:

To get these stories and others as soon as they are published, sign up to receive All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS feed. Alternately, choose from our complete topic list.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekly Hot List

Fast facts from Gallup related to top stories in the news:

Tax Cut Compromise: 66% want tax cuts extended; same for jobless benefits

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": 67% favor a law allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly

Re-START: 51% would vote to ratify the nuclear arms agreement with Russia

Obama Post-Midterms: 46% approval as of Monday was steady since election

Where the Jobs Are: 32% of workers in the Midwest say their employer is hiring

To get all of our stories, sign up for All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 411 on Gallup's Economic Data

On my read of the world's economic news, I'm happy to see Gallup's employment data referenced here but wondering why our job creation data is missing here.

There's a lot coming at us these days, so it seems like a good time for a refresher on Gallup's economic data.

Gallup asks Americans every day about their employment status, their views about the economy now and in the future, their daily spending habits, and -- if they are working -- whether their employer is creating or shedding jobs. Because we survey every day, our results are always up-to-the-moment. They also have strong relationships to other commonly reported metrics.

We report our data back to you daily and weekly charts below:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence and Job Creation, Consumer Spending

Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

We also report monthly averages and help you understand what it all means in our regularly scheduled economic stories. We report twice per month on employment and economic confidence and once per month on job creation and consumer spending. What's more, our reports come out ahead of the other big economic reports you are used to following, with data that are more recent.

"Surprising" economic news is, in fact, rarely very surprising to us. To make sure you're ahead of the curve as well, sign up to receive all of our economic news as soon as it is published, via our economy e-mail alerts and RSS feeds.

If you have questions or want to learn more about how to use these data, feel free to contact us at SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get a Clear Answer -- With the Gallup Referendum

Issues these days are complicated, that's for sure. Everything from the Bush tax cuts, to unemployment benefits, to immigration reform comes with caveats, potential loopholes, and shades of gray. But sometimes, leaders just need a clear answer for the proposals on the table. Are Americans for or against them?

We're about to find out, with our historic "Gallup referendum" question. We simply describe a legislative proposal on the table and ask Americans if they are for it or against it. Some might say it's never that simple. But our Editor in Chief Frank Newport tells me this approach comes straight from our founder Dr. George Gallup. Dr. Gallup said issues, while complicated, usually come down to a simple yes or no. After all, that's how we vote for everything from presidents to ballot initiatives. It's also how judges and juries hand down verdicts. So, despite how much we love to report on the complexities of Americans’ attitudes, sometimes it's simply time to put the question on the table and get a simple yes or no answer.

So here's what we're asking:
Suppose that on Election Day you could vote on key issues as well as candidates. Please tell me whether you would vote for or against a law that would do each of the following. First, would you vote for or against a law that would _________ ?

  • Extend the federal income tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 for all Americans for two years
  • Extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed
  • Ban all earmarks in bills passed by Congress
  • Allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military
  • Increase government regulation of food safety
  • Ratify the nuclear arms agreement with Russia, called the START treaty
  • Postpone previously scheduled cuts in the amounts Medicare pays doctors to treat Medicare patients
  • Allow illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college
We'll begin to report results on Wednesday, Dec. 8 on Gallup.com. To get the stories as soon as they are published, sign up to get our politics news via e-mail alert or RSS.

While you wait, read about how Americans rank these issues as priorities for the lame duck Congress.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekly Hot List

Fast facts from Gallup related to top stories in the news:

Afghanistan Assessment: 45% see things going well, most since July '09

Tax Cut Debate: 40% want Bust tax cuts kept for all, 44% want limits for the wealthy

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 70% support allowing gays to serve openly in the military

U.S. Unemployment: 8.8% rate found by Gallup is real-time, without seasonal adjustment

Fixing the Economy: 39% say cutting the deficit is best approach, more than choose other options

To get all of our stories, sign up for All Gallup Headlines via e-mail alert or RSS.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Introducing Our New Blog "Thrive"

A huge part of what we're doing at Gallup revolves around the topic of wellbeing. With the behavioral economic data we're collecting every day around the world, we're working to help leaders better understand what makes a healthy, happy, and productive life.

Interest in this topic is growing almost as fast as our dataset, with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron becoming the latest world leader to recognize that the wellbeing of individuals matters a great deal to the wellbeing of a society.

We track U.S. wellbeing daily with our Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and annually around the world. In January, we will begin tracking it daily in the U.K. as well. Our goal is to eventually track wellbeing in as many places as we can, as often as we can.

All of that data collection results in a lot of findings. So many findings that we're launching a new blog to help you keep track of it all.

Our new blog "Thrive" is dedicated to tracking and reporting on the health and wellbeing of the world’s citizens. Here, our wellbeing experts will keep you up to date on our latest wellbeing discoveries, providing updates on what we are tracking and briefings on breaking analyses.

"Thrive" joins our roster of blogs aimed at providing data-driven insights you can't find anywhere else. We hope you'll read them, comment on them, share them, and find them useful.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome at gallup_news@gallup.com.

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