Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gallup's Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3% in Mid-January

PRINCETON, NJ -- "U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 8.3% in mid-January -- a slight improvement from 8.5% in December, and down from 9.9% in January a year ago. Gallup's mid-month unemployment reading, based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 18,500 adults in the 30 days ending Jan. 15, serves as a preliminary estimate of the U.S. government report, and suggests the BLS will likely report on the first Friday of February that its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined once again in January.

The U.S. government's January unemployment rate that it will report in early February will be based on mid-month conditions. Therefore, Gallup's mid-month unemployment reading, based on data collected through the 15th of the month, normally provides a good estimate of the government's unadjusted unemployment rate for the month. Because of employer layoffs after the holidays, unadjusted unemployment rates normally increase at this time of year, and the government seasonally adjusts for these layoffs. So it seems likely that the government will report another decline in its seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate for January.

Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures show modest improvement so far in January, and that is particularly positive news for job conditions at this time of year because the early part of the year is usually slow for hiring. This is good news for the overall U.S. economy. It is also a plus for the president's re-election efforts."

23 Comments:

At 1/17/2012 10:50 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

but gallup's numbers are subject to the same severe methodological problems as the BLS: if you are not actively looking for a job, you just disappear.

this can lead to extremely misleading trends.

if there are 100 people in the workforce, 65 with jobs and 5 looking for work, the unemployment rate reads 5%. if 5 lose jobs so we have 60 working but one of those chooses not to look for work and all 5 previous seekers get discouraged and stop looking, the number of those employed has dropped from 65 to 60, but unemployment as reported drops to 4%, a result quite opposite to what happened in terms of employment.

this methodology needs a serious rethink.

at present, the headline number could mean either an increase in jobs or an increase in discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work. such a dichotomy makes it all but meaningless until you can look at the components (which are not, to my knowledge, supplied by gallup).

 
At 1/17/2012 11:12 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

That's as misleading as the U-3 number brought out by the government. That 8.3% is due to sweeping 2007/2008/2009 folks under the statistical rug.

I'd rather see U-6 based numbers get cited as a minimum, and the labor force participation rate be cited at best.

The only thing that these numbers say is that the long-term unemployed are politically the same as multigenerational welfare recipients - fair game, politically indefensible.

 
At 1/17/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

here's an interesting fact a ways down in the gallup release:

"However, the government is revising its methodology beginning with the January 2012 report. As a result, the government notes, "household survey data for January 2012 will not be directly comparable with that for December 2011 or earlier periods." In turn, this makes estimating the government's unemployment rate for January even more difficult than usual."

those as cynical as i am might be led to wonder about the real reasons for doing this in an election year.

just sayin...

 
At 1/17/2012 12:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I hope the good news continues...let's mope the Fed gets serious, instead of merely mumbling and dithering.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

says: "if you are not actively looking for a job, you just disappear"...

Exactly!

From IBD: Nearly 1 Million Workers Vanished Under Obama

By JOHN MERLINE, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 01/12/2012 04:29 PM ET

From Bob Evans SAP blog: California Meltdown: 1.2 Million Jobs Disappear In Just Three Years

April 26, 2011

 
At 1/17/2012 1:10 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


"It is harder to pull people into employment if they are out of the labor force than if they are in the labor force and unemployed."

It doesn't help that businesses contribute to that by avoiding the unemployed (thus compounding the problem). They would rather complain about what the unemployed don't have instead making use of what they do have (as done in prior recoveries).

It's hard to pull in the unemployed when they're being repelled by business. That, and giving them the flippant response of becoming some sort of entrepreneur isn't helping either.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:16 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Nearly 1 Million Workers Vanished Under Obama

Misleading. One could have lost their job in the middle of 2008, gone through the 26-99 weeks of UI, and become a statistical anomaly under the current administration.

Semantics aside, I think that 1million is an understatement if you took it at face value.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:24 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Sethstorm,

When did you first realize the world owes you a living?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

sethstorm still wanting to spend other peoples' money says: "It doesn't help that businesses contribute to that by avoiding the unemployed "...

Well if business won't do it, sethstorm can, right?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger Simon said...

Once more, BLS true statistics :
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000

There is NO JOB RECOVERY until now.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Paul said...

One can twist that to ask why business thinks it is entitled to political perfection at the expense of the economy in general.



juandos said...

You use that line as if it meant anything.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"It's hard to pull in the unemployed when they're being repelled by business. That, and giving them the flippant response of becoming some sort of entrepreneur isn't helping either."

seth, you consistently evidence some of the most entitled thinking i have ever seen.

business does not exist to give you a job.

it's up to you to gain and market useful skills.

the unemployed are not "repelled" by businesses. it's about having skills they need.

just like you do not "repel" colgate when you go to the store and fail to buy their toothpaste, they do not repel you by failing to offer you a job.

if you thought there toothpaste would benefit you, you'd buy it. they look at hiring you the same way.

the proof of how absurd your logic is becomes evident when you flip it around. Kodak is failing. why are you not out buying film and helping them out instead of "repelling" them?

by your logic, every act of non purchase is an act of oppression.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I hope the good news continues...let's mope the Fed gets serious, instead of merely mumbling and dithering.

If it believes the 'good news' the Fed is less likely to act and not do what you have been hoping for.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:30 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


morganovich said...

Yet you act as if it is ok for business to be entitled to perfect conditions and to have unreciprocated wants. The world does not revolve around the business getting what it wants 100% of the time - unlike what you suggest.

Comparing inanimate goods to people performing jobs is like comparing oranges and apples. Both might be selectable, but inanimate goods don't have the baggage associated with living things.

If a person is not owed a job by business, then a business is also not entitled to wait out for perfect candidates. Skillset excuses can only go so far before they are only excuses - and this economy has long since passed that point.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

If a person is not owed a job by business, then a business is also not entitled to wait out for perfect candidates.

Wrong. A business is entitled to get the best candidates that it can find. That means that it is entitled to wait for as long as it wishes or to find those candidates elsewhere.

Skillset excuses can only go so far before they are only excuses - and this economy has long since passed that point.

They are not excuses. They are facts. If people can't do the job they are not entitled to have that job.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:42 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

What does the dropping of the unemployment rate mean for the U.S. economy?

Greg Mankiw states the Liquidity Trap will be over.

Crossing Wallstreet notes Prof. Mankiw's model. Greg Mankiw notes Crossing Wallstreet's presentation of his model. Thus, 8.3% unemployment is very signigicant.

 
At 1/18/2012 4:57 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


VangelV said...

You seem to be OK with businesses having infinite entitlements while not granting same to the people that work for them.

You can put "fact" all over your statement, but it doesn't make it fact. Those people can do the job if the business provides the training.

 
At 1/18/2012 9:34 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Sethstorm,

"One can twist that to ask why business thinks it is entitled to political perfection at the expense of the economy in general.

A business owner is entitled to do whatever he/she damn well pleases, including shutting down operations just because they feel like it. It is their capital at risk. Meanwhile, you think you are entitled to sit on your ass collecting welfare at the expense of the economy in general.

 
At 1/18/2012 9:37 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I've said this before, but wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at a Sethstorm job interview?

 
At 1/18/2012 9:54 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You seem to be OK with businesses having infinite entitlements while not granting same to the people that work for them.

Where have I called for ANY entitlements for anyone? I have opposed all bailouts, handouts, subsidies, and tariff protections for all businesses. If they want to hire employees it is up to them to find the best ones that will meet their needs, not for the taxpayer to fund training programs for them or give them handouts for each new job.

You can put "fact" all over your statement, but it doesn't make it fact. Those people can do the job if the business provides the training.

But it is a fact. The fact that your Marxist filter does not like it does not change the reality.

 
At 1/18/2012 9:56 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

A business owner is entitled to do whatever he/she damn well pleases, including shutting down operations just because they feel like it. It is their capital at risk. Meanwhile, you think you are entitled to sit on your ass collecting welfare at the expense of the economy in general.

While I am on your side of this argument I think that calling your property rights an 'entitlement' plays into our Marxist friend's hands. Using one's natural rights is not an entitlement.

 
At 1/18/2012 10:39 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Vange,

I see your point, but I was just using his vernacular to demonstrate the absurdity of his argument.

 
At 1/18/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I see your point, but I was just using his vernacular to demonstrate the absurdity of his argument.

I tend to make the same error and get sucked into using the wrong words. The problem with that sloppiness is that it tends to legitimize the position of the statists and that is dangerous.

This is my big problem with Friedman. While he talked about economic freedom and individual liberty he legitimized the idea of an economy as having buttons and levers that could be manipulated to meet some end goal.

 

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