Gallup Poll's CEO Jim Clifton –Don’t Be Misled by the U.S. Unemployment Rate

The problem with the unemployment metric is that an additional 6.6% report being “underemployed,” meaning they are left out of the 8.1% unemployed because they have part-time work but wish they were employed full time; they’re not classified as “unemployed.” They’re not in the 8.1% everyone’s watching, and this makes things complicated. Nearly 15% underemployed, including the unemployed, is much more accurate and significant than the single 8.1%.

My big point here is that the current U.S. unemployment metric is an over-complicated mess and misleads smart American leaders and citizens. Bluntly, we don’t honestly know when we see the government’s unemployment data if the employment situation got a little better or a little worse.

Gallup has a solution and breakthrough. We will start reporting Payroll to Population employment rates (P2P) every day on our website as of today. We will use a big sample of 30,000 completed telephone interviews in the U.S. and compute a new global employment metric that will be pure and unadjusted.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

5 comments on “Gallup Poll's CEO Jim Clifton –Don’t Be Misled by the U.S. Unemployment Rate

  1. MarkP says:

    Interesting numbers. But the data only goes back to 2010, which makes it hard to put it into context. I wish they’d make an educated guess at what the number would have looked like in an economy generally agreed to be “healthy.”

  2. Milton says:

    Kudos to Gallup for having the courage and backbone to report what the “recovery” that has no clothes may not want to hear.

  3. MarkP says:

    Hang on, Milton — aren’t you seeing what you want to see here? Gallup says the “Bottom Line” is:

    “The August increase in Payroll to Population is a positive sign as the United States continues on the road to economic recovery. As underemployed Americans find work or rejoin the workforce, Payroll to Population will continue to improve.”

    This strikes me as a more positive assessment than last Friday’s employment numbers.

  4. Ad Orientem says:

    Governments lie. They lie all the time. And their preferred method of lying is the manipulation of statistics. Unemployment numbers and inflation are just the two most obvious examples.

  5. MichaelA says:

    I have suspected similar inaccuracy in our Australian figures for some time.