Gallup: Unemployment went up in July

posted at 9:16 am on August 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Two more indicators previewing tomorrow’s July jobs report are in today, and neither look particularly good.  First, weekly jobless claims went back up again after a sharp drop the week before — which was amended upward in today’s report, too:

In the week ending July 28 the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 365,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 357,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 368,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending July 21, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 21 was 3,272,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,291,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,298,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,310,000.

The 357K figure from last week was originally reported at 353K, which had been a years-long low.  The new level of 365K will almost certainly get revised upward next week, and it’s close to the 370K-380K range we’ve seen since the spring and summer of 2011.  While the volatility has increased this summer, in part because of the auto industry, the overall results look like a continuation of the status quo.

That’s still better news than Gallup’s, whose surveys predict a rise in unemployment:

U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 8.2% in July, up slightly from 8.0% in June, but better than the 8.8% from a year ago. Gallup’s seasonally adjusted number for July is 8.0%, an increase from 7.8% in June. …

Unemployment had previously dropped to 7.9% in mid-July, the lowest it has been since Gallup began tracking employment daily in 2010. However, the improvement was short-lived, and unemployment increased during the second half of the month.

Underemployment, however, did decline — for the third straight month in July, to 17.1%, the lowest since Gallup started collecting employment data. Gallup’s U.S. underemployment measure combines the unemployed with those working part time but looking for full-time work. Gallup does not apply a seasonal adjustment to underemployment.

Gallup also indirectly predicts that more people have left the workforce.  Their percentage of people in the workforce working full time rose to 66.6%, Gallup’s highest level since the pollster began tracking this in January 2011.  However, the number of people employed full time remained the same, which means that the rise in this measure can only be due to a shrinking workforce.  If Gallup has this right, the jobless rate won’t rise tomorrow, but we may see more decline in the civilian population participation rate, which hit a 30-year low in May (63.6%) and is close to that now (63.8%).

Planned layoffs declined slightly in July, CNBC reports, but they’re still slightly higher than in 2011:

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies dropped for the second month in a row in July, even as job cuts in the financial sector persisted, a separate report showed.

Employers announced 36,855 planned job cuts last month, down 1.9 percent from 37,551 in June, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Job cuts were also well off levels of July last year when 66,414 layoffs were announced. For 2012 so far, employers have announced 319,946 cuts, up 2.5 percent from the 312,220 reductions in the first seven months of 2011.

We have all the data we’ll get ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report, combining this with yesterday’s ADP report.  The jobless rate will be difficult to predict, so let’s stick with predictions of jobs added in July.  The Reuters consensus is that we’ll see 100,000 jobs added, but I’m sticking with my prediction of 75,000.  Take the poll!


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