The Gallup Poll publishes a twice monthly survey on employment in the U.S. and today they posted an astounding decline in the unemployment rate to 7.3%. At the end of September they reported 7.9% and at the end of July 8.2%.
At first blush this looks like a dramatic change in the slowly improving employment picture. We have taken a close look at the data and find that current situation is not unlike other time periods over the past three years when similar steep declines in the unemployment rate have been followed by partial retirements higher. But what is evident since the unemployment rate peaked three years ago this month is that employment has been improving, albeit at a distressingly slow rate.
We have produced the following graph which summarizes the Gallup and BLS (U.S. Dept. of labour Bureau of labour Statistics data for the unemployment rate since January 2010:
The pattern is pretty clear and both sources are in quite close agreement.
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