PollingUnemployment Rate

Gallup Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Improves to 8.4%

According to the latest Gallup Poll.
Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is at 8.4% at the end of October, down from 8.7% in September and 9.2% in August. Unemployment was at 8.3% in mid-October — its lowest level since Gallup began continuous monitoring in January 2010. Gallup’s unemployment measure is also now much lower compared with a year ago — it stood at 9.4% at the end of October 2010.

Underemployment is also down.

Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, is 17.8% at the end of October — down from 18.3% at the end of September.

The chart:

The government’s report is due out tomorrow and will be based on data from mid-october.

The government’s seasonally adjusted October unemployment report, to be released Friday, will be based on data collected during mid-October, around the time Gallup released its mid-month findings. At that time, Gallup suggested that the government would report a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate for October. The continued improvement Gallup has found in the job situation since mid-month reinforces this idea. Gallup modeling suggests the government’s unemployment rate could fall below 9.0% for October.

Gallup’s October data are consistent with Wednesday’s Challenger, Gray, & Christmas report showing that planned layoffs in October were at their lowest level since June. The decline Gallup finds in unemployment also aligns with the 2.5% increase in U.S. GDP for the third quarter and the Federal Reserve’s statement on Wednesday suggesting the economy is strengthening modestly. Additionally, Gallup Daily tracking shows economic confidence, consumer spending, and job creation improving in October.

But, the changes may be based on seasonal factors which the government uses in calculating its figures.

However, a modest improvement in unemployment may give Americans some confidence going into the Christmas shopping season.

It is the best time to be obtaining a job in almost two years and as Gallup says: a temporary job is better than no job at all.

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