Poll Shows October Jobless Rate 'Down Sharply' Compared To September

more Americans finding jobsMore Americans are finding work, partly because of increased hiring for the holiday sales season, a new poll finds.

The rate of joblessness as measured by Gallup fell to 8.3 percent in mid-October, down sharply from 8.7 percent at the end of September and 9.2 percent at August's end, the polling organization said Monday.

A year ago, Gallup's U.S. unemployment rate stood at 10 percent, it said.

Seasonal hiring explains some of the improvement, Gallup said, noting that Halloween has become the third most popular U.S. holiday in retail sales.

The findings suggest that the government could detect a drop in the U.S. jobless rate to less than 9 percent when the Labor Department reports October data on Nov. 4. The rate now stands at 9.1 percent. where it has stood for three months.

Since the government collects its monthly data during the first two weeks of the month -- the same period in which Gallup gathered its information -- the Labor Department's numbers are likely to track the same trend, Gallup said.

The fresh data further showed that more workers are leaving the ranks of the underemployed. The percentage of Americans who are either unemployed or working part-time fell to 17.5 percent in October, down sharply from 18.3 percent, the rate recorded at the end of September.

The underemployment figure is also the lowest measurement of the year, Gallup said.

For those looking for work, the data suggest it's a good time to renew or intensify the job search, says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup.

It appears that there's more activity in the labor market now, he tells AOL Jobs.

Part of the hiring activity is related to holiday hiring, Jacobe says, "but the drop that we've picked up is significant enough that it looks like there's some more general improvement in the [labor] market."

Still, the U.S. has a long way to go before unemployment is at normal, healthy levels, Jacobe says, noting that a normal underemployment rate is typically around 10 to 12 percent.


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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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zoeylong76

Yeah, because retailers and delivery companies are hiring temps for the holidays and they will all be terminated after the 1st of the year.

October 18 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dennis Anderson

This good news. I think a person wants a full time jobs not a part time one.

October 18 2011 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
annaannau2

pleaseeeeee....get a grip! What jobs are we talking about? $8, $9, $10 per hour? These are not equivalent to the pay that one receives in order to pay a mortgage, car payment, insurance, etc. There is nothing wrong with making that amount of money; however, it should NOT be included as part of the unemployment calculation. This skews the government's figures to their advantage so that they can announce to the American people that the unemployment rate went down. In reality, this is not the case, as there are thousands of Americans who have simply given up; they have not been added to the equation. The government should not just look at numbers, but rather they should look at the composition of those numbers. If someone is making $1.00 per hour does that justify adding that job recently created to the equation of bringing the unemployment rate down? It certainly does not, yet most of the politicians and cronies in Washington believe that it does. Perhaps they should divert some of the war funds to re-educate themselves regarding mathematics and supporting documentation!

October 18 2011 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
engrzpk1

Yes, well as u can guess. The stocks will soon drop with the "dismal holiday retail sales" mainly because many are unemployed..and well, it's tough to find extra funds for extra purchases when you barely are making ends meet. You can try to point the finger at Obama, but remember, he inherited the mess from the last idiot..and it takes a long time to mop up the disaster. If you want to look at blame, see the reports on the Bank of America profits as they continue to try to charge their customers for their debit cards etc.. and do some research on the hefty salaries of the CEO's and politicians. It's all about greed..Corporate Greed, Individual Greed...so it's no surprise on the muntiny for Occupy Wall Street. The average citizen is desperate..with our jobs being outsrouced and automated..how do they expect us to survive? We don't need political speeches, we need ACTION. So business won't hire because they don't have an increase in sales and you can't have an increase in sales until people are back to work. It doesn't take rocket science to predict that. So where are all the high paid financial executives and economists on this one? Another recession looming? I didn't know the last one had ended. It's not a pretty picture for the next few generations. Thanks Republicans!

October 18 2011 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
julea2064

I'm a 47 yr. old female, looking for a job. I'm either too old (hiring teenagers everywhere) or too young (I can't even get a job as a "people greeter"). Savings is exhausted. I had to borrow money from my 70something Parents. I never thought I'd be in this position. Years ago, it was easy to get a job. I don't know if it's my age or the fact that we live in "Obamaland". Maybe I could ask him for a "no payback" loan....

October 18 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tonycgi

Mr Schepp, best look at Lowe's closing stores and their layoffs, and Bank of America layoffs and other companies that have announced layoffs. Yes there will be seasonal hiring, but they will not offset the other layoffs. Nice chart, who paid for that, the DNC or Axelrod and Obama?

October 18 2011 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Do you really think it's not merely the holiday hiring? What will you think come January when theya re all let go? How are they measuring underemployment?I haven't seen or been asked anything about that in my job search!And why not show the actual figures--not the cleaned up ones that drop previous quarters and year's unemployed?

October 18 2011 at 10:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
charlie4562r

Looks like the best Obama can look forward to is the Holiday employment spike! Things will return to the usual dismal outlook again in January!

October 18 2011 at 9:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pj512

What this tells me is that less people are losing their jobs, but it's still just as hard to find a job if you are unemployed. I am now into the SEB (state extended benefits) part of my unemployment, which means when this runs out, that's it. Unless a freakin' miracle happens before then, I will more than likely be homeless. Good news is good, but unless I can find a job, no news is going to make me feel better.

October 18 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cesarvis

They are prepping for the holidays, it happens the same time every year. I cannot believe they think the public does not know this.....really?

October 18 2011 at 8:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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