Unemployment Rises Sharply — Gallup

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Even though today’s report on new claims for unemployment benefits showed that fewer new claims were made last week, Gallup’s unadjusted unemployment rate for November rose to 7.8% from 7.0% in October. Seasonally adjusted, Gallup’s November rate rose from 7.4% in October to 8.3% in November.

Tomorrow’s “official” unemployment rate report is expected to see a boost in U.S. unemployment from 7.9% in October to 8.0% in November. That report is based on seasonally adjusted numbers.

The sharp increase in Gallup’s November unemployment rate could be due to the loss of jobs due to Hurricane Sandy or slower-than-expected holiday season hiring, or some combination of both.

Gallup notes that the unemployment rate among college graduates is just 4%, while among workers aged 50 to 65 the rate is 5.5%, among whites the rate is 6.5% and among men it is 6.6%. The other end of the scale shows unemployment among African-Americans at 12.4%, 18-to-29 year olds at 12%, those with a high school education or less at 11.4% and Hispanics at 10.4%.

Gallup expects tomorrow’s report on unemployment to come in higher than October, and notes:

The increase in unemployment in November is a change from the positive momentum seen in recent months. However, it is also possible that October’s dramatic improvement was temporary, and November’s reading is a continuation of the earlier trend. The trend in future months will be an important indicator of the true momentum of the job climate.

Paul Ausick