Who Ya Gonna Believe?


The government unemployment number is 8.8% and Gallup’s is 10.2%.

Unemployment at 8.8% says the government

“The U.S. economy created 216,000 jobs in March, the government reported Friday, continuing the recent rebound in hiring that has helped strengthen the recovery.

The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 8.8%, the lowest since March 2009. The unemployment rate has now dropped a full percentage point since November.” Read more here: LA Times


Unemployment at 10.2%, underemployment at 19.9% says Gallup

“Jobs Situation About the Same as It Was a Year Ago

The government’s February report on the U.S. unemployment situation suggests that 192,000 jobs were created last month and the unemployment rate declined to 8.9%, down from 9.7% a year ago. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley and others said they were encouraged by this report.

However, Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures have not shown the same gains in early 2011. Gallup finds an unemployment rate (10.2%) and an underemployment rate (19.9%) for mid-March that are essentially the same as those from mid-March 2010.

In part, the difference between Gallup’s and the government’s current job market assessments may be due to the government’s seasonal adjustments. Gallup’s U.S. unemployment rate is also more up-to-date — its mid-March data include jobless figures for much of March, whereas the government’s latest unemployment rate is based on the jobs situation in mid-February.

Most importantly, a key reason the government’s unemployment rate is dropping apparently has to do with the so-called participation rate: the percentage of Americans who are counted as being in the workforce. The government’s participation rate in February was at its lowest level since 1984. In essence, this tends to suggest that the government’s unemployment rate may be declining because many people are becoming discouraged and leaving the workforce — not because they are getting new jobs. Read more here: Gallup