In a tracking survey that estimates the percentage of the U.S. population employed at least 30 hours a week, Gallup reports that the payroll to population (P2P) employment rate fell from 43.7% in August to 43.5% in September. The P2P rate in June was 44.8%, the highest reading so far in 2013.
In September 2012 the P2P rate was 45.1%, on its way to a 45.7% reading in October 2012, a three-year high. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September fell from 8.7% in August to 7.7%. The “official” unemployment rate normally would be announced tomorrow, but that is not going to happen due to the federal government shutdown. The consensus estimate called for the unemployment rate to remain flat at 7.3%.
According to Gallup, its P2P metric is based on the entire population, not just those in the workforce as is the case with unemployment rate computations, nor does the survey include the self-employed, part-time workers, the unemployed or workers who are out of the workforce.
Gallup said that the percentage of part-time workers who want full-time jobs rose from 8.7% in August to 9.4% in September. The August reading was the lowest to date in 2013.
Gallup also reported that the workforce participation rate rose slightly month-over-month from 66.4% in August to 67% in September. Workforce participation fell from 68.2% in September 2012.
The drop in Gallup’s unemployment rate suggests that more workers wanting full-time employment last month ended up taking part-time jobs. Fewer people are unemployed, but not because they found full-time jobs.