In the wake of the controversial 7.8% unemployment rate reported by the U.S. Labor Department earlier this month, Gallup today said that its nonseasonally adjusted rate fell from 7.9% at the end of September to 7.3% in mid-October. That is a new low since Gallup began collecting employment data in January 2010.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, Gallup says the mid-October unemployment rate is 7.7%, down from the rate at the end of September, as well as down from the mid-month measure of October 2011.
But the percentage of Americans working part time but wanting full-time work is 9.0% in mid-October. That is up from 8.6% in September, but still less than 9.4% in October 2011.
The unadjusted underemployment rate in September came in at 16.3%, again the lowest on record for the survey. That rate was 18.3% in September of 2011. Gallup says the decline in unemployment but increase in the number of Americans working part time but looking for full-time work likely results to some degree from seasonal hiring.
Gallup also suggests that the decline in its unadjusted and adjusted employment rates hint that the BLS may report another decline when it releases the October employment data on Nov. 2.