Mike Shedlock

The latest Gallup survey finds U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February

Gallup only polls those 18 and above while the official BLS number includes 16 and above. Given teenage unemployment, this would (or at least should) artificially lower unemployment numbers for Gallup. Yet, Gallup is higher, way higher, when one considers underemployment.

The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for January. The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month, and is up from 8.3% in mid-January.

US Unemployment Rate, Monthly Averages



Gallup also finds 10.0% of U.S. employees in mid-February are working part time but want full-time work, essentially the same as in January. The mid-February reading means the percentage of Americans who can only find part-time work remains close to its high since Gallup began measuring employment status in January 2010.

Percentage of Workers, Working Part Time but Want Full Time Employment



Seasonal forces typically cause unadjusted unemployment rates to increase at this time of year. In this regard, some of the sharp increase Gallup finds in unemployment and underemployment may result from seasonal factors. Although the government seasonally adjusts the U.S. unemployment rate, and the workforce participation rate could decline, it still seems likely that the BLS will report an increase in the seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate for February.

Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January.

BLS Numbers Not Realistic

Gallup only polls those 18 and above while the BLS includes 16 and above. Given teenage unemployment, this would (or at least should) artificially lower unemployment numbers for Gallup. Yet, Gallup is higher, way higher when one considers underemployment.

Fundamental and Mathematical Case for Structurally High Unemployment for a Decade

As I have said many times, the BLS numbers are simply not realistic for many reasons. For further discussion please see ...


German President Resigns; Major Embarrassment to Chancellor Merkel


The German presidency is little more than a symbolic position, nonetheless, the announcement by German President Christian Wulff that he will resign is a major embarrassment to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who hand-picked Wulff as president.

Spiegel Online reports Wulff Announces He Will Step Down

German President Christian Wulff resigned from office after prosecutors stated a day earlier they would seek to have parliament lift his immunity. Prosecutors wanted his immunity revoked so they could formally investigate allegations he accepted favors during his tenure as governor of the state of Lower Saxony. At the center of the probe are allegations that a film producer had paid for a vacation in a luxury hotel for Wulff during his time in office in the state.

Speaking nearly a half hour after Wulff's resignation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared before reporters to say she had received Wulff's resignation with "great respect and deep regret." The chancellor also noted that the development underscored the strength of the German legal system because it showed that all people are treated equally, regardless of their position.

Merkel said her coalition government would approach all political parties in an effort to find a "joint candidate" to replace Wulff.

The development is likely to cause embarrassment because Wulff is the second president after Horst Köhler to step down during her term. The chancellor handpicked Wulff to run as Köhler's successor after his sudden resignation in 2010. Even after his selection, Wulff was weakened going into the presidency because it took three rounds of voting in the Federal Assembly before he was ultimately elected.

Financial Times reports that Merkel cancelled a meeting scheduled with prime minister Mario Monti in Rome on Friday in the wake of the announcement by Wulff.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.