The PJ Tatler

Gallup: Unemployment Shot Up in November

Gallup’s monthly measure of US unemployment finds that a sharp rise occurred in the month of November. Skipping over the usual “unexpectedly” that most economics reporters use month in and month out, Gallup speculates on the cause of the unemployment spike.

It is unclear what caused the increase in the unemployment rate in November, although some experts speculate that it was caused by jobs lost as a result of superstorm Sandy. It is also possible that lackluster holiday hiring is to blame.

Wouldn’t lackluster holiday hiring indicate a weak economy, that is not “poised to take off” as President Obama said it was this week?

Although the increase in the unadjusted rate in November is a sharp contrast to the 0.9-point decline seen in October, November’s 7.8% rate is still tied for the second-best unadjusted unemployment monthly reading of 2012. However, on an adjusted basis, November’s rate is the highest reading in six months. Looking at year-to-year comparisons, seasonally adjusted unemployment is down from 8.9% in November 2011.

Underemployment, as measured without seasonal adjustment, was 17.2% in November, a 1.3-point increase since the end of October. The uptick in November also puts an end to the six-month trend of improvements or no change. Still, underemployment has improved 0.9 points since November 2011.

It’s still higher than it was when Barack Obama took office.