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February 18, 2011
Gallup says unemployment at 10% in February
Why do 57% of Americans believe the economy is not recovering? Probably because of surveys like this one from Gallup that show unemployment rising, not falling:
Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, hit 10.0% in mid-February -- up from 9.8% at the end of January.As opposed to the "official" rate of 9%, this gives a much more accurate picture of the problem we have with job creation. Not only are we failing to create jobs, but the jobs we are creating are not matching the skill set of the unemployed. This leads to one in five workers being "underemployed" - a massive number that tells a woeful tale of a declining standard of living in the Middle Class.
The percentage of part-time workers who want full-time work worsened considerably in mid-February, increasing to 9.6% of the workforce from 9.1% in January.
Underemployment, in which Gallup combines part-time workers wanting full-time work with the U.S. unemployment rate, surged in mid-February to 19.6% -- mostly as a result of the sharp increase in those working part time but wanting full-time work. Underemployment now stands at basically the same place as it did a year ago (19.8%).
It won't be enough to goose job creation. We're going to have to figure out a way to match workers to jobs for which they are qualified. That's a tall order and almost certainly one that government can't fix.