The US economy seems to be teetering on the edge of recovery despite the best efforts of the Republican Majority in the House and Minority in the Senate. Gallup has announced that their measure of the seasonal unadjusted unemployment rate at mid-October is 7.3%. Their adjusted rate is at 7.7%. These are down from the 7.9% that were announced by the US Department of Labor at the end of September.
This provides an independent confirmation of the Labor Department’s statistics.
These results are based on Gallup Daily tracking surveys conducted by landline and cell phone with more than 30,000 U.S. adults from Sept. 16-Oct. 15. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate incorporates the .04 upward adjustment used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in October of last year. The adjustment for September was an increase of .02, which explains the .04 drop in seasonally adjusted employment despite the .06 decline in the unadjusted number.
Gallup is also reporting that the number of Americans working part time but wanting full-time work has gone up by 0.4% to 9.0% in mid-October. In September, that was 8.6%. This is better than a year ago. The underemployment rate declined to 16.3% in mid-October.
The US Commerce Department also announced that home construction rose by 15% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 with single-family construction rising 11% and apartment building construction rising by 25.1%. Applications for building permits rose by just under 12%. These are all the highest rates since July of 2008.
Sales of new homes rose nearly 28% in August over the year previous. New home sales are about 20% of the housing sales but provide a greater impact on the economy due to the amount of labor that goes into new housing.