Gallup Finds February US Unemployment Jumps Most Since 2010, Third Consecutive Monthly Increase

Tyler Durden's picture

When it comes to economic data, there is the BLS's seasonally-adjusted, Birth/Death-ed, Arima-factored, goal-seeked, election year propaganda, or there is real time polling such as that conducted every month by Gallup. And while there is no doubt tomorrow's NFP number will be just better than expected (after all it is an election year for the Derpartment of Truth), the reality is that in February unemployment, that measured by the impartial polling agency Gallup, soared by 0.5%, the most since late 2010, from 8.6% to 9.1%, and back to August 2011 levels. As for the U-6 BLS equivalent, Gallup's underemployment metric rose to 19.1% from 18.7% in January, and a 18% low in mid 2011. The good news, it is just modestly better than the 19.9% in February 2011. Gallup's conclusion, which should be pretty obvious: "Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures show a substantial deterioration since mid-January. In this context, the increase in unemployment as measured by Gallup may, at least partly, reflect growth in the workforce, as more Americans who had given up looking for work become slightly more optimistic and start looking for work again. So while there may be positive signs, the reality Gallup finds is that more Americans are looking for work now than were doing so just six weeks ago....In mid-February, Gallup reported that its U.S. unemployment rate had increased to 9.0% from 8.3% in mid-January. The mid-month reading normally provides a relatively good estimate of the government's unadjusted unemployment rate for the month." Ahh.. Unadjusted. As for tomorrow, expect the BLS to continue in treating seasonally-adjusted Americans like idiots, and pushing the disconnect between the economy as seen by DC bureaucrats and Joe Sixpack to record spreads.

From Gallup:

U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 9.1% in February from 8.6% in January and 8.5% in December.

Gallup's U.S. Unemployment Rate, Monthly Averages

The 0.5-percentage-point increase in February compared with January is the largest such month-to-month change Gallup has recorded in its not-seasonally adjusted measure since December 2010, when the rate rose 0.8 points to 9.6% from 8.8% in November. A year ago, Gallup recorded a February increase of 0.4 percentage points, to 10.3% from 9.9% in January 2011.

In addition to the 9.1% of U.S. workers who are unemployed, 10.0% are working part time but want full-time work. This percentage is similar to the 10.1% in January, but is higher than the 9.6% of February 2011.

Percentage of U.S. Workers Working Part Time but Wanting Full-Time Work, Monthly Averages

As a result, Gallup's U.S. underemployment measure, which combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed and the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, increased to 19.1% in February from 18.7% in January. This is an improvement from the 19.9% of February 2011.

Gallup's U.S. Underemployment Rate, Monthly Averages

Looking Ahead to the Government's Unemployment Report

The February unemployment rate the U.S. government reports on Friday morning will be based largely on mid-month conditions. In mid-February, Gallup reported that its U.S. unemployment rate had increased to 9.0% from 8.3% in mid-January. The mid-month reading normally provides a relatively good estimate of the government's unadjusted unemployment rate for the month.

Assuming the government's unadjusted rate increases -- from its 8.8% in January -- to at least match Gallup's mid-month measurement for February, then the government should also report an increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February. If the government's unadjusted unemployment rate increases to the degree that Gallup's has from mid-month to mid-month, then the government's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate could show an even larger increase.

However, the extent of the seasonal adjustment also makes a difference. Last February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics applied a seasonal adjustment factor of 0.5 points to its unadjusted unemployment rate for the month. If that same seasonal adjustment is applied to Gallup's mid-month unemployment rate of 9.0%, it would produce a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.5%. Alternatively, if it was applied to Gallup's full-month unemployment rate of 9.1%, it would produce a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.6%. Gallup therefore forecasts an increase in the unemployment rate.

Gallup in February also found a decline in its Job Creation Index, which tends to support an increase in the February unemployment rate.

The consensus forecast, however, is for no change in the government's unemployment rate. February jobless claims were running at roughly 350,000 during the month, implying a relatively stable unemployment rate. Additionally, Wednesday's ADP report suggesting that private-sector jobs increased by more than 200,000 in February is also somewhat supportive of a stable unemployment rate forecast.

Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures show a substantial deterioration since mid-January. In this context, the increase in unemployment as measured by Gallup may, at least partly, reflect growth in the workforce, as more Americans who had given up looking for work become slightly more optimistic and start looking for work again. So while there may be positive signs, the reality Gallup finds is that more Americans are looking for work now than were doing so just six weeks ago.

Gallup's U.S. Underemployment Rate, Monthly Averages

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ghostfaceinvestah's picture

No way will the Ministry of Truth allow this kind of information to be officially confirmed.  U3 will decline this month, as decreed.

goldfish1's picture

See, increased unemployment is a good thing.

Gomie's picture

In this case, it is! When the economy is terrible, people give up and stop looking. When they become more optimistic - and there are increasing reasons for that optimism - they feel more confident and look for jobs again. Tells me the unemployed seem to think things are getting better again.

DormRoom's picture

Gallup likely tracks U4 definition of unemployment, whereas BLS releases U3 definition of unemployment.  What model better reflects reality?  Politicians will tell you U3.  Ppl on foodstamps say U6.

surf0766's picture

Is this a paying job for you?

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

vote "up" if, from the POV of your livelihood, the economy is improving

vote "down" if you think its getting worse.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Seal Team Six takes out Gallup Pollsters, dump bodies at sea.

National Geographic Special and Team America-stylized Hollywood Blockbuster follow.

narapoiddyslexia's picture

When Galileo showed the Doge of Venice that Saturn had moons orbiting about it, in contavention of 1600 years of Catholic theology, the Doge refused to believe what he was seeing. The poor old Doge insisted that it was an artifact of the magic tube, even tho Galileo showed him how it worked. 

Denialism runs deep,

into your heart it will creep,

It starts when you're always afraid,

You step out of line, the man come and take you away...

So, the employment situation is improving. Get it?

And, there is no such thing as global warming.

kridkrid's picture

From where I sit, the global warming folks seem more similar to Catholic theologians than do the skeptics, but maybe that's just me.  I like the rest of your post, however.

Things that go bump's picture

This is how it is getting better.  I am a medical transcriptionist with many years of experience with hospital medical records. That is highly technical work. I had a marketable skill that was sought after. There aren't that many people who have the brights to do that sort of work who haven't found something better than that to do with themselves, and who are actually willing to sit there and do that for hour after hour.  I made over 40,000 dollars in 2007 and didn't work too hard to get it.  I know that is not a lot by many standards, but it looked pretty good to a working class girl. I thought I was in clover. That was around the time they brought in speech recognition software and also started sending  work to India. I lost my job along with almost everyone I knew. One woman even killed herself.  Well, the great India experiment was a total bust. They couldn't deliver on the quality required for the medical field (as you can imagine, it is quite stringent), and couldn't even deliver on turn around times, because their power grid is subject to sudden failure without notice. So ha, ha, ha. That is true for many countries outside the US and Europe. That work came back to the States, but the hospitals, once free of having to pay us, weren't interested in hiring us back. Agencies sprang up and they were willing to hire us, at a much reduced amount. We aren't even paid by a wage anymore, but by the line of typing. Sometimes we aren't even employees, but independent contractors. The money that was paid as salary from the hospitals now is filtered through transcription agencies who take the lion's share. I work 12 hours a day on two jobs and still don't make what I made in 2007. My mother did piece work at home when I was a kid in the 50s, and it was against the law back then. She used to have to adjust her hours on her time card so that it would look like she was being paid minimum wage. My father and sisters and I worked on her pieces evenings and weekends, as well.   Welcome back to the bad old days.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

"In this context, the increase in unemployment as measured by Gallup may, at least partly, reflect growth in the workforce, as more Americans who had given up looking for work become slightly more optimistic and start looking for work again."

 

Not if they have entered the disability benefits rolls, as Cashin showed.

Iwanttoknow's picture

I concur.It is fucking unbelieveable.I keep telling my patients not to do it as soon there will be no money.They apply for it any way.I get stuck with filing out long forms,for free.

spiral_eyes's picture

Let's not forget that all of this stuff is discounting underemployment (U6) and people who have not looked for a job in the last 6 weeks (U4).

I found a great chart that illustrates the depth of this unemployment problem, in contrast to other recessions (final chart in the piece):

http://azizonomics.com/2012/03/08/a-philosophical-look-at-unemployment/

JPM Hater001's picture

And then thunderbolts struck the earth...

JPM Hater001's picture

And then Thuderbolts struck the earth.

kridkrid's picture

I wish I had better recall, but NPR was great this morning in sharing the news... so matter-of-factly dismissing the data as "not particularily meaningful in light of the strengthening recovery, albeit not as strong as some would like".  I guess the exact words never matter, it was really just the frame... and it was masterful.  People want to hear it, so they hear it.

el Gallinazo's picture

National Public Radio - if 1980 Pravda had been filled with politically correct and soft spoken yuppies.  Their Planet Money is like listening to children playing in a sand box.

kridkrid's picture

I listen to NPR on my drive in and Hannity on my drive home.  It lets me know what both "sides" are programmed to think.

el Gallinazo's picture

ghostfaceinvesteh

 

Glad you corrected Tyler's error referring to the Ministry of Truth as the Department of Truth.  These details are important.

surf0766's picture

This is proof of a self sustaining recovery around the globe.

tempo's picture

Nothing else matters except that there is a worldwide labor glut due to the internet where billions are willing to work for $25/day (thats a really good job at Foxconn) w/o benefits living 20 per dorm room w/o smartphones. In the West we hide our problems by allowing millions to borrow for near worthless degrees so they can buy the newest AAPL and fulfill their dreams. The union employees buy protection and the nonunion are bought off with ever increasing entitlements. The young are motiviated to stay in school and run up subprime debt that can never be repaid. Party on. Make believe the economy is recovering. It doesn't matter because jobs will never be created except by the Govt. and deficit spending. Central planning has never worked and it will fail in the West. Maybe we have one or two years before the party ends. who knows.

Binko's picture

Compare the guy in China making $25/day to the guy here in America making minimum wage of roughly $64/day working at Walmart. If you equalize across the cost of living there is probably little difference at this point. Neither can afford to rent his own apartment, start a family, buy a car or do much of anything except work and subsist. Wages it seems have been successfully globalized to a rough equivalent.

Businesses all over America have figured out that they can let go of the guy making a living wage of $50 or $60K and hire two part-timers making minimum wage to take his place. Saves money and provides business with maximum flexibility. I know people who have been job hunting for a long time and it's absolutely stunning to see the wide spectrum of jobs that now only pay minimum wage or tiny jump above minimum. 

Laddie's picture

Capitalism, like the $7 trillion bailout of the Banksters.

They view the average white guy as livestock.

EmileLargo's picture

Or so goes the theory. Why doesn't this happen in Switzerland? The wages there are ridiculously high compared to the US (let alone China) and yet unemployment is one of the lowest on earth. What gives?

EmileLargo's picture

Or so goes the theory. Why doesn't this happen in Switzerland? The wages there are ridiculously high compared to the US (let alone China) and yet unemployment is one of the lowest on earth. What gives?

StychoKiller's picture

Perhaps Switzerland does NOT have 300+Million people in it...

espirit's picture

Gallup + BLS = null = Bullish.

So sad.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

BLS to the rescue friday..bet on it.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Bullish, more people to hire.

Gomie's picture

This is positive: In this context, the increase in unemployment as measured by Gallup may, at least partly, reflect growth in the workforce, as more Americans who had given up looking for work become slightly more optimistic and start looking for work again. 

A sign that confidence is increasing is indicative of more people getting up and looking for jobs. Believe me, tomorrow, if BLS misses, you will here this line being used as a reason for optimism. 

surf0766's picture

Optimism is an over used word for people who either lie for a living or people who are clueless. 

JailBank's picture

@Surf - Write your comments in bold or we can't take them seriously.

UP Forester's picture

Maybe in ALL CAPS, too.

Or blue.  Yeah, definitely in blue.

AN0NYM0US's picture

must have qe3

 

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

what would make me laugh is to see the bombs come dropping down on iran and people thinking deflation is on the way! wheeeooooooo!

Sophist Economicus's picture

disconnect between the economy as seen by DC bureaucrats and Joe Sixpack to record spreads.

 

Please, let's not treat Joe like he is an idiot.   It's Joe 30-pack, not sixpack...He understands the unit cost basis

kito's picture

the reality is that in February unemployment, that measured by the impartial polling agency Gallup, soared by 0.5%, the most since late 2010, from 8.6% to 9.1%, and back to August 2011 levels.

 

tyler, just a heads up on your typo on the bolded figures. you left out the first digit, a "1", on both numbers............... 

Everybodys All American's picture

it is interesting how ten percent of the population can just be ignored.

Ted Baker's picture

THE RUMOUR OF THE HOUR:- TOMORROW'S NUMBER WILL DISSAPPOINT AND IN FACT IT WILL DETERIORATE  BY - 20 BASIS.. FX VERY BUSY WITH CAD AND MXN THE WINNERS...

BliptoP3's picture

Of course we have to borrow a couple of trillion a year for things to be even this good - so what's the point in pretending that this is anything than an utter cluster-****?

kridkrid's picture

the entire system is based on pretend vis-a-vis our monetary system.  So of course everything that flows from it must also be pretend.  This should not be surprising.  The fact that our pretend system has provided an appearance of proper functioning for some period of time, people have gradually come to accept a narrative that isn't grounded in reality.  When people get their arms around the "pretend" aspect of our credit/debt based fiat money that is nearly always loaned into existence through fractional reserve banking (our monetary system) they lose all expectation that anything told to us could be the capital T Truth.  It's all lies.

DeadFred's picture

"pushing the disconnect between the economy as seen by DC bureaucrats and Joe Sixpack to record spreads"

We love spreads because they always compress. So what is the timing and what is the compression play?

Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

Long rope, torches and shotgun shells.  Short art dealers and government services/defense contractors.

Timing:  nebulous but should play out by 2020.

the 300000000th percent's picture

Let me get this straight when the claims went down to 8.5% it wasnt people dropping off of the job hunt radar, it was people finding work. And now when the numbers increase its not bearish because more measured people still don't have jobs, its bullish because this is percieved to be green shoots that more people are looking. Seems to me they always spin it bullish no matter what. 

zebrasquid's picture

Tomorrow they may just let the numbers come in weak, so that they can have easier comps to beat later in the year, as the election grows closer.  (Who is going to remember Feb numbers in November?)

 

Everybodys All American's picture

Gallup does not reflect the smaller number of workers working and therefore the Obama re-election campaign or BLS number can and will come in better than expected. Expect unemployment to continue inching below 8% by election time. Take it to the bank.

UP Forester's picture

I guess we need another census around June, too....

Winston Churchill's picture

Ceridian print soon.

A perfect storm next week.

 Why not just let Corzine do the books ,maybe the bad numbers can "corzined" away?

BLOTTO's picture

What a fuckin bulshit system.

They say moderation in everything in life...Everything except work. Than its 'ok.'

So if you work - you get fucked.

If you dont work - you are fucked.

Nice life.

Jebi se...