Gallup Poll Corroborates Higher Unemployment

http://www.cnbc.com/id/35535193

A Gallup poll released this morning corroborates the calculation of unemployment that I’ve been using and publishing since the beginning of the recession – that unemployment and underemployment are closer to 20%, as opposed to the official government figure of 16.5%. 

In findings that appear to paint a darker employment picture than official U.S. data, Gallup estimated that about 30 million Americans are underemployed, meaning either jobless or able to find only part-time work.

… The poll’s estimate of U.S. underemployment is higher than official statistics. The Labor Department says 16.5 percent of American workers were without employment or worked part-time for economic reasons in January against Gallup’s 19.9 percent.

… Gallup surveyed more than 20,000 U.S. adults from Jan. 2 to 31. The results have a 1 percentage point margin of error.

My own calculation of underemployment, which the Labor Department calls “U6,” is 20.8% – within the Gallup poll margin of error.  My calculation holds the labor force at a fixed percentage of the population, as opposed to the government method of assuming that the unemployed can simply drop out of the labor force at a time when employment is most desperately needed – a tactic employed every time the economy sinks into recession in a bid to prop up consumer confidence. 

Here’s my calculation again, along with a chart of the results:

Unemployment Chart

Unemployment Calculation

With weekly first-time jobless claims continuing to run in the 450-500,000 range, it’s not likely that we’ll see any meaningful improvement in unemployment, at least not real unemployment – the kind the government doesn’t report.

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4 Responses to Gallup Poll Corroborates Higher Unemployment

  1. mtnmike says:

    Pete,
    We must consider as a baseline that there have been no fundamental changes that would restore employment to pre-recession levels.

    Without fundamental change such as restoring industry, withdrawing from trade agreements, and curbing immigration…what our leadership is counting on is a miracle of sorts.

    Injection of borrowed stimulus funds and employing more government workers does not constitute fundamental change.

      • Mark A. Hall says:

        I 2nd that motion!

        They DO NOT get it yet!

        Today an AP article announced that ther are presently 480,000 illegal “migrants” in Georgia alone. In 1990 the illegal immigrant population in Georgia was a mere 35,000.

        480,000 divided by 35,000 = 1,271.43% increase in 20 years.

  2. ClydeB says:

    Pete,
    It would appear to the casual observer that for each recognized unemployed worker there is at least one other who is “only” underemployed.

    All the time the pols and pundits preach that we’ve got to compete our way back to prosperity. Free market principles (what a contradiction that is).

    How do we get through to them?

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