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Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:47 PM

Gallup Poll Visualizes Effect of Obamacare

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Gallup's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 8.3% for November, up nearly one percentage-point over October's rate. Gallup's underemployment jumped from 15.9% to 17.2%.

The Gallup survey, which polls approximately 30,000 people monthly, was radically different from the BLS report  that came out a day later.

Please consider the Gallup economic report U.S. Unadjusted Unemployment Shoots Back Up.

U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 7.8% for the month of November, up significantly from 7.0% for October. Gallup's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 8.3%, nearly a one-point increase over October's rate.

Underemployment, as measured without seasonal adjustment, was 17.2% in November, a 1.3-point increase since the end of October. The uptick in November also puts an end to the six-month trend of improvements or no change. Still, underemployment has improved 0.9 points since November 2011.

Gallup's U.S. underemployment measure combines the percentage who are unemployed with the percentage of those working part time but looking for full-time work. Gallup does not apply a seasonal adjustment to underemployment.

The increase in underemployment is the result of an increase in the number of people unemployed as well as the number of people working part time but wanting full time work, which rose to 9.4% in November from 8.9% in October. The number of workers wanting full-time positions generally increases during the holiday season as more people take on part-time seasonal work. Compared with this time last year, the percentage of workers desiring additional work is down a modest three-tenths of a point.
Obamacare Responsible?

Gallup did not offer reasons for this shift but I suspect two.

  1. Large numbers of part-time workers were hired as a direct result of Obamacare in September and October.
  2. Additional seasonal workers were hired early.

For more on Obamacare and the effect on jobs, please see

Note the sudden huge divergence between Gallup and the BLS. The Obamacare theory, even if correct, still fails to explain that divergence.

In the BLS report, the labor force magically shrunk by 350,000 artificially lowering the unemployment rate. No such thing happened in the Gallup survey for the unemployment rate to blast .9 percentage points higher.

Regardless of "why", if the latest Gallup survey is correct, expect to see jumps in the BLS unemployment rate in the coming months.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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