Polling,  Unemployment Rate

Gallup: Mid-October U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent

Gallup Polling Mid-October Unemployment Rate

According to the latest Gallup Poll.

U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 7.3% in mid-October, down considerably from 7.9% at the end of September and at a new low since Gallup began collecting employment data in January 2010. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.7%, also down from September. October’s adjusted mid-month measure is also more than a percentage point lower than October 2011.

These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking surveys conducted by landline and cell phone with more than 30,000 U.S. adults from Sept. 16-Oct. 15. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate incorporates the .04 upward adjustment used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in October of last year. The adjustment for September was an increase of .02, which explains the .04 drop in seasonally adjusted employment despite the .06 decline in the unadjusted number.

Good news for Americans.

Underemployment is also down.

Gallup’s U.S. underemployment measure combines the unemployed with those working part time but wanting full-time work. The underemployment rate is at its lowest mid-month or monthly level Gallup has measured since it began collecting employment data in 2010.

Here is the chart:

Gallup Polling Mid-October Underemployment rateWhat does this mean?

Remember this is Gallup’s own polling and is not the official goverment Bureau of Labor Statistics which will later this month have the official unemployment rate figures.

There are three weeks left to the Presidential campaign and while this downward trend is substantial, it may be too little and too late to affect positively the public perception that the American economy is improving.

The decline in unemployment but uptick in the number of Americans working part time but looking for full-time work is likely the result of seasonal hiring, which picks up in the fall for Halloween and continues through the end of the holiday season. Still, seasonally adjusted employment, which accounts for these types of periodic fluctuations, has declined modestly since the end of September. This is a promising sign that employers are adding jobs that will last into the new year.

Gallup’s mid-month unemployment numbers are a good early predictor of the monthly numbers released by the BLS. The decline in Gallup’s unadjusted and adjusted employment rate suggests that the BLS may report another decline when it releases the October data on Nov. 2.