American Economy,  Polling,  Unemployment Rate

Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.7% and Underemployment Rate Down Slightly – But…..

According to the latest Gallup Poll.

U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, fell to 8.7% at the end of September, significantly improved from 9.2% at the end of August. Unemployment is also significantly lower than the 10.1% rate recorded at the end of September of last year, and among the lowest 30-day averages Gallup has measured since January 2010.

The Underemployment rate falls.

U.S. underemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, improved to 18.3% at the end of September from 18.5% at the end of August, as a decline in unemployment more than offset a slight increase in part-time workers seeking full-time employment. At the same time, the percentage of workers working full time for an employer decreased slightly to 64.9% from 65.3% at the end of August.

The chart:

But, there is a big BUT:

Fewer Are Employed Full Time for Employers

While fewer U.S. workers were underemployed and unemployed at the end of September compared with the end of August, fewer also had full-time jobs with employers. The 64.9% who reported having full-time jobs with employers is down from 65.3% at the end of August. This percentage is up slightly from 64.3% a year ago, but that was one of the lowest percentages of 2010.

The chart:

So, what does this all mean?

Even with the better on the surface numbers, there are negative rumblings under the surface. Plus, Gallup expects the government’s numbers to not be as good wen they report later, since they calculate the unemployment rate differently.

Gallup now finds more part-time workers seeking full-time work, suggesting that some workers are finding jobs but not the full-time positions they seek. Gallup also finds fewer workers employed full-time for employers at the end of September than was true a month ago. Combined with declining job creation in recent months, the U.S. employment situation remains challenging for job seekers and for the economy in general.