Unemployment Likely Unchanged at 9.1 or Up to 9.2 in September, Says Gallup

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 21, 2011 | 1:28 PM EDT

People waiting in line at a jobs fair in San Jose, Calif., earlier this year. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(CNSNews.com) - An analysis released by Gallup on Wednesday says that the polling company's own extensive employment survey suggests that the national unemployment rate for September, as measured by the federal government, will remain unhanged from August's rate of 9.1 percent or increase to 9.2 percent.

“Modeling based on statistical comparisons of Gallup's unemployment and job creation data to the government's seasonally adjusted data over time suggests that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report that September's unemployment rate is unchanged at 9.1%-- or possibly has increased to 9.2%,” said Gallup.

“Gallup Daily tracking of the employment situation in America continues to imply that the government's numbers tend to understate the unemployment and underemployment situation, particularly as the workforce shrinks,” said the polling company’s analysis.

Gallup surveys a massive sampling of American adults every month about their employment situation—resulting in a survey that has a margin of error of only +/-1.

“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,” the polling company said. “Gallup’s results are not seasonally adjusted and are ahead of the government reports by approximately two weeks.”

The polling company reported that its survey shows that actual unemployment—without the seasonal adjustment the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics applies to its own survey—was down slightly in September, possibly because of normal yearly hiring patterns.

“Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 8.8% in mid-September—down from 9.1% at the end of August and the same as it was at the end of July,” said Gallup.

“However,” the analysis said, “the apparent improvement in unemployment from August to September may merely reflect normal seasonal hiring patterns and not be an indication that the employment situation is improving.”

The number of people forced to working only in part-time jobs, even though they want full-time work, increased from 9.4 percent at the end of August to 9.7 percent by mid-September.

Gallup said that “underemployment”—the percentage of people who either lack a job and want one or who are working part time but wants full-time jobs—is particularly large among Americans 18-29 years of age (28.9 percent), black (27.8 percent), and people who have not attended college (23.1 percent).

The overall national underemployment rate was 18.5 percent in mid-September, said Gallup.

That means that almost 2 out of 10 people in America who now want a full-time job cannot find one.