Gallup: Unemployment Climbs to 9% in February

Unemployment in the U.S. rose to nine percent in mid-February, up from 8.3 percent a month earlier, according to a new Gallup survey.

The polling company said this suggests that it is “premature” to assume the economy will not feature prominently in the 2012 election season.

“Further, it suggests that it is premature to assume the condition of the economy will not remain a major issue for Americans both financially and politically in 2012.”


Gallup figures typically provide an indication of what the government will report at the end of the month.

“The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February,” Gallup said in its mid-month unemployment survey, released on February 17. “The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month, and is up from 8.3% in mid-January.”

The survey also found that “underemployment” – those unemployed and those working part-time because full-time jobs are unavailable – rose to 19 percent, up from the 18.7 percent Gallup found in January.

Gallup said its report reflected a continuing trend of weakness in U.S. labor markets, marking a “sharp deterioration” in job market conditions.

“Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January.”


Gallup said the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) would likely report a rise in the official unemployment rate in early March, when it publishes its February figures.

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