Unemployment Down Slightly to 8.9 Percent, Survey Finds

By Matt Cover | June 17, 2011 | 3:51 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – According to a Gallup survey, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.9 percent from 9.2 percent at the end of May. The survey also shows that the U.S. unemployment situation is little-changed from one year ago.

The poll, which is not seasonally adjusted and is not an official estimate of unemployment, found that unemployment had fallen slightly as of the middle of June.

“Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is at 8.9% in mid-June – down from 9.2% at the end of May and 9.1% in mid-June a year ago,” Gallup said.

The survey also found that the percentage of people who had settled for part-time work had also changed little from one year ago, coming in at 9.5 percent compared to 9.7 percent in mid-June 2010.

“The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work is at 9.7% in mid-June – an improvement from 10.0% at the end of May. However, slightly more Americans are now working part time but seeking full-time work than was the case a year ago,” the survey said.

Taken together, the percentage of Americans who are “underemployed” – either unemployed or settling for part-time work – also fell slightly but remained exactly where it was one year ago.

“Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, was at 18.6% in mid-June – down from 19.2% at the end of May. However, underemployment is just as high now as it was in mid-June 2010.”

Gallup noted that its findings indicated continued weak economic growth similar to what the economy experienced in the first quarter, when GDP grew at a sluggish 1.8 percent. Gallup also noted that its findings did not support the government’s projections that growth and unemployment would continue improving throughout the year, saying that so far 2011 looked to be a repeat of 2010.

“But Gallup's measures did not show the improvement suggested by the government's unemployment numbers earlier this year or the deterioration during April and May. Instead, they have shown the 2011 unemployment situation to be similar to that of 2010.”