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Gallup Finds Unemployment Unchanged in July

Gallup Finds Unemployment Unchanged in July

by Dennis Jacobe

PRINCETON, NJ -- U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is at 8.8% at the end of July, showing essentially no change from June 2011 (8.7%) or July a year ago (8.9%).

Gallup's U.S. Unemployment Rate, 2010-2011

The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work is 9.2% at the end of July -- down from 9.6% at the end of June and 9.5% at the end of July 2010.

Percentage of Americans Working Part Time but Wanting Full-Time Work, 2010-2011

Underemployment Shows Modest Improvement

Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, is at 18.0% at the end of July. This improvement from 18.3% at the end of last month and 18.4% at the end of July 2010 is largely the result of the July decline in the number of part-time workers wanting full-time work.

Gallup's U.S. Underemployment Rate, 2010-2011


The lack of improvement in year-over-year U.S. unemployment is consistent with the revised GDP results showing anemic economic growth at best during the first half of 2011. The U.S. economy simply has not been growing fast enough to create the number of new jobs necessary to significantly reduce the unemployment rate.

However, there are some bright spots in the jobs arena. Gallup finds unemployment improved among those aged 50 to 64 and among college graduates when compared with a year ago. Similarly, the unemployment situation in the East, West, and Midwest shows modest improvement over last year, while that in the South has deteriorated.

In the more immediate term, the decrease in the number of people working part-time but looking for full-time work suggests employers may be putting more part-time employees in full-time jobs, at least for the back-to-school sales period. This good news is by comparison not only to last month, but also to last year.

Overall, Gallup's most recent modeling of the jobs situation, including unemployment and job creation, suggests that the government on Friday is likely to report no change in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July from June. While this modeling is based on the government's mid-month reference week, Gallup's data show that the weak jobs trend continued even during the last half of the month. If the government report picks up some of these late-month results, the official U.S. unemployment rate could actually increase, depending on how the government applies its seasonal adjustments.

Regardless, Gallup's Daily tracking of the jobs situation and consumer confidence seems more aligned than not with the growing economic pessimism on Wall Street.

How Gallup's Unemployment Measure Differs From the U.S. Government's (BLS) Measure reports results from these indexes in daily, weekly, and monthly averages and in stories. Complete trend data are always available to view and export in the following charts:

Daily: Employment, Economic Confidence and Job Creation, Consumer Spending
Weekly: Employment, Economic Confidence, Job Creation, Consumer Spending

Read more about Gallup's economic measures.

View our economic release schedule.

Survey Methods

Gallup classifies American workers as underemployed if they are either unemployed or working part time but wanting full-time work. The findings reflect more than 18,000 phone interviews with U.S. adults aged 18 and older in the workforce, collected over a 30-day period. Gallup's results are not seasonally adjusted and are ahead of government reports by approximately two weeks.

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking from July 2-31, 2011, with a random sample of 18,602 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2010 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit

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