No, Unemployment Isn't 9 Percent

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 4 2011 10:45 AM

No, Unemployment Isn't 9 Percent

Sorry, BLS . It would be nice if it was! But 36,000 people got jobs while 600,000 people fell out of the ranks of the unemployed. We know what this means: Hundreds of thousands of people gave up and stopped looking for work. No wonder, because construction and transportation employment fell after a year of increases.

I like the way Gallup calculates this stuff . Yes, it's a private company, not a government agency, which as we all know means it can't possibly be as good. Bear with me, though. Gallup interviews around 20,000 people every month, doesn't adjust seasonally, and comes up with 9.8 percent unemployment and 18,9 percent underemployment.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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