Gallup Finds Unemployment Increased In December, Underemployment Is At 6 Month High, Blasts Government Data Fudging

Tyler Durden's picture

Following this week's ebullient ADP private payrolls report, the sellside has succumbed to an orgiastic frenzy suggesting that tomorrow NFP number may be as high as 580,000 (as reported earlier). While there is no chance on earth of that happening absent all of US data gathering to have been outsourced to Beijing, what is more interesting, is that organizations which track employment trends in real time have found that neither is ADP's optimism justified, nor is there absolutely any basis to expect a blow out NFP number tomorrow. Gallup has found that not only did the unemployment rate increase in December from 9.4% to 9.6%, that disgruntled part-time workers who want full-time work increased from 8.6% to 9.4%, the highest since September, but that the most important metric in a labor force increasingly consisting of part-time workers, underemployment, has surged to 19%, the highest since June! 

Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment,
increased to 9.6% at the end of December -- up from 9.3% in mid-December
and 8.8% at the end of November.

Gallup's U.S. Unemployment Rate, 30-Day Averages, January-December 2010 Trend

The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work increased to
9.4% of the workforce in December -- up from 9.2% in mid-December and
8.4% at the end of November.

Percentage of Americans Working Part Time and Wanting Full-Time Work, 30-Day Averages, January-December 2010 Trend

The increase in Gallup's U.S. unemployment rate and the worsening in the
percentage of part-time workers wanting full-time work combined to
raise underemployment to 19.0% in December from 18.5% in mid-December
and 17.2% at the end of November.

U.S. Underemployment, 30-Day Averages, Trend, January-December 2010

So how does one reconcile this seemingly ridiculous divergence between disparate data sets which are supposed to measure the same underlying key economic strength indicator? From Gallup:

The U.S. unemployment picture may seem unusually confusing these days. Gallup monitoring showed a sharp improvement in the jobs situation in November,
particularly as companies added holiday workers. However, the
government surprised Gallup and most other economic observers as it
reported last month that the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 9.8% in
November. It appears that the government made a larger seasonal
adjustment than was generally anticipated for the month.

ADP on Wednesday reported that the economy added 297,000
private-sector jobs -- far above the consensus expectation that the
government on Friday will report the U.S. economy added 140,000 new jobs
overall in December. In contrast, Gallup shows the unemployment rate
increasing as companies let go of holiday workers. At the same time, Gallup's Job Creation Index shows monthly average hiring and firing conditions essentially unchanged over the past three months.

And here is the kicker: as Gallup can not openly accuse the government of manipulating data, it has to apologize on behalf of the BLS of having seasonally adjusted data which skews it (unlike Zero Hedge which openly surmised that the November NFP number was a disaster only to encourage the passage of the latest stimulus, with us also suggesting that the December number will be stellar merely confirming that the stimulus is doing miracles to the "economy"). In other words, the biggest beneficial fudge factor that the government continues to rely on: the various seasonal adjustment (not to mention the birth death model), may well push some imaginary number not grounded in anything close to reality well into the 7 digit range, and result in the S&P jump by a double digit percentage. And as the BLS is wont do to, it will eventually revise the number to something closer to reality, but by then the market will have long forgotten about the most recent manipulation. Bottom line: all in a day's work for the department of truth.

Because the Gallup unemployment measure is not seasonally adjusted,
it tends to more accurately reflect what is actually taking place in the
U.S. job market -- and may not agree with the government's estimate
that is seasonally adjusted. Further, Gallup's data tend to be more
up-to-date than the government's because Gallup polls on the
unemployment situation continuously. Combined, seasonal adjustments and
timing differences likely explain much of the disparity between Gallup's
measures of underemployment and unemployment, compared with those
reported by others.

Gallup's politically correct conclusion is spot on: no matter the spin, the illusion, or the data manipulation:

Whatever the government reports about unemployment on Friday, Gallup's
U.S. underemployment data for the end of 2010 show that nearly one in
five Americans continue to be unemployed or employed part-time looking
for full-time work. In turn, this underscores the importance of job
creation as a top national priority.

It is therefore too bad the top national priority is and continues to be manipulating stock markets, and creating a wealth effect for some and a poverty effect for most.

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bob_dabolina's picture

This is good for commodities.

Simply means Ben prints more money.

SheepDog-One's picture

Bernank prints more money, further cratering his dismal bond ownings. Catch-22 time.

Cdad's picture


BIMBO ALERT....BIMBO ALERT!  Here is your 1.29 handle on little Miss Euro.  All riders at the L Blankfein Wildest Dreams Park should exit the rides immediately [as oil has been priced for stupid for long enough, thank you].  Prepare for the morally depraved stud man USD to have his way with every living thing.

As for folk in the Eurozone, please don your helmets and your rubber galoshes as Miss Euro leans into the railing and blows chunks of Euro dollars.

And keep your interventionist fingers off the FX switch as many of us don't cotton to know intellectual Keynesian bailing out every freak on the entire surface of the planet.  That is YOUR love child...not mine!




SheepDog-One's picture

I see the poor little starlet puking over the rail! Today must be a monumental feat keeping the wheels on the shaky equities indexes here as the dollar zombie walks up the stairs a bit.

Cdad's picture

Yep....some invisible hand there holding up the little tramp, too.  Unbelievable...which is exactly how Americans will feel when they think about the US market for the next generation...Unbelievable!

But the wheels dog....they are most certainly wobbling...

I bet she blows at some point in the wee wee hours of the night.

Chappaquiddick's picture

You both blow ..... and suck ..... and swallow, too.  Bitchez.  

HarryWanqer's picture

This seems unlikely.  I only trust government data.

DaveyJones's picture

I feel the same way about cheese

SheepDog-One's picture

Gubment cheese is the best.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

Government fudge is also available.

steveo's picture

And it is freely distributed!

John Law Lives's picture

Thanks for the laugh, Tyler... a.k.a. Robo... a.k.a. Harry.

Sophist Economicus's picture

Paging Harry Wanger, paging Harry Wanger....

countryboy42's picture

Now you did it. Any second now, he will be talking about how great his used condom business is doing

Gene Parmesan's picture

Sounds like SOMEBODY doesn't want/need an obamacare waiver.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Actually I was thinking someone really needed a hug.

ReallySparky's picture

I would tend to believe Gallup.  However the number flung around for 580K is a trap.  The last week of December was a 4 day work week, many lazy government workers left at the helm, while the senior workers took vacation.  Lest we not forget that most of populated area's were blanketed in snow and unseasonally cold weather.  The number will be light based upon these facts and of course the usual massage.

Dr. Engali's picture

And the senior workers aren't lazy turds?


Fish Gone Bad's picture

They probably are lazy turds, but they are senior lazy turds.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

My analysis of the Gallup consumer discretionary spending seems to underscore their accuracy, they were the only major data source I could find showing that consumer discretionary spending was actually not good.  Que the "surprise" disappointing retail numbers and resultant bloodbath.  Will be doing a whole lot more digging on their data. 

midtowng's picture

Gallup hasn't cooperated with the standard government line. I've noticed that their consumer sentiment surveys have consistently been higher than the official numbers.

Translational Lift's picture

Now there's a surprise!!!  But hey...if real numbers were used the Gubment couldn't lie about their employment stats....

Flapjackmaka's picture

Fire up the printing press!!!


Michael's picture

I apply for unemployment compensation every year just so I can be counted in U3 , instead of being buried 6 feet under in U6. I've been unemployed for about 5 years and am not eligible to collect unemployment compensation. I apply for jobs but they never call me for an interview. Good thing my house is paid off.

SheepDog-One's picture

Cue rose colored economic forecast reassertions from HarryWanger in 3.....2......1.....

Flapjackmaka's picture

heh, The economy is recovering! This is an outlier. Did you not see the headlines on Business Insider, Marketwatch or CNBC? Jobs are being created and you just want America and Obama to fail. Our Secretary of the Treasury and Bernanke are so smart! - /s

youngman's picture

In just Obama´s cabinet there are 5 new unemployed I think...

Things that go bump's picture

You are not eligible for unemployment if you quit.  

papaswamp's picture

I think ADP is going to come out the looser in this. The NSA UE numbers for December were quite high with 3 out of 4 weeks showing over 500,000 new filings. The interesting numbers will be participation rate, NILF and size of workforce. these have all been heading in the wrong direction for a decade. I see nothing that has happened to change that.

JimboJammer's picture

The  Fed  and  the  White  House  know  that 

they  must  not  let  the  general  public  loose

confidence...  they  will  fudge  the  numbers ..

and  do  anything..  when  the  americans

loose  confidence  in  the  U S  Dollar  ,...all 

bets  are  off...  >>  Flash  Crash ....

SheepDog-One's picture

Who are they fooling anymore? And what would it matter at all if 'the general public lost confidence'? Theyre just jerking off is all.

Sig Sauer's picture

WHAT??  Lo these past few months I've been the been the beneficiary of a complementary reach-around and didn't even know it??

max2205's picture

when's the next UI getting extended?  It's cold outside

Azwethinkweiz's picture

Anyone else catch Jesse Jackson rambling about using data from bus drivers and parking meters today on CNBC? I'm beginning to think the government gets their data much in teh same manner. Unemployment figures are derived at by averaging the number of people who visited Disneyland and subtracting that number from those who visited Knotts Berry Farm AND bought a funnel cake.

SheepDog-One's picture

I love listening to Jesse Jackson talk, hillarious.

Tense INDIAN's picture

and is there any reason to trust this data.......blogoshere has been writing that unemployment is actually more than 20%

Hephasteus's picture

Well if you look at the last 2 cycles and intent of the 3rd. The industrial revolution provided machinery for supression. The informational technology revolution provided the machinery for spying and manipulating.

Next in line was the green revolution. Which was supposed to be some big high minded save the earth thing. It was really just a vehicle for taxing the crap out of luxury so that all the luxury was only in upper class hands with none for middle class. When the green movements plan card was outed it was no longer a functioning in tact approach. So now you are stuck with system that wants and needs intense labor and effort with nothing to put it towards. We do not have to work so hard. We can simply do a little work and relax and have a high standard of living. But we have to build our own graves and develope the things our masters need to control us.

This leaves us vapor locked. There is no way forward. There is no trust going forward and the system that feeds and thrives off giving and then taking it all back through hidden theft is stuck forced to steal much more than will be tolerated. While people lay down strong thick walls that can't be breached and become more and more antagonistic and unapproachable.

HungrySeagull's picture

Old fashioned way to break a vapor lock.


Pour gasoline directly into the Holley Double Pumper and get the &^%$ out of the way when that motor is cranked.


And dimwit key holder better keep it cranking when fire rises high. It will go away as soon as the engine catches it and runs.

Xibalba's picture

Yet another explanation for the Dollar surge.  

Irelevant's picture

Gallup is a terrorist organization and will be shut down. Long live the President BHO, The Fed, and the corrupt Congress.

Henry Chinaski's picture

Employment statistics are so confusing.  I just hit a fast food joint for my economic updates:

Competent middle-aged workers = depression

Mostly competent college students and/or elderly workers = recession (or recovery)

Totally incompetent pimple-faced teenagers = growth/boom/full employment

pazmaker's picture

I like that!  +1


So which one of these three did you see?  I don't frequent fastfood.

DaveyJones's picture

it's beyond option A, Even fast food has to slash prices to keep the customers. Some lost revenue

Henry Chinaski's picture

Now and then I hit the local Subway.  The service is excellent.  The former construction supervisors and office managers build a mean sandwich.

Bahamas's picture

I clearly remember that the Fed guy with hair on the chin but not on the head , saying in Davos that he'd  seen "green shoots" coming out of the crisis....may be he's been smoking one too many of those green shoots.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Will someone stuff a rug down Gallup's throat. Who the hell is running this circus anyway?

Timmy, where the hell are you? Oh, that's right. He's shepherding the loan application through the BIS.

Lincolns Mullet's picture

I heard the government is hiring dead fish and bird picker-uppers for $500/hour.  That should help fluff the numbers a bit.

Bahamas's picture

500 per hour...come on that can't be true