In a tracking survey that estimates the percentage of the U.S. population employed at least 30 hours a week, Gallup reports that the Payroll to Population (P2P) employment rate fell from 45.3% in August to 45.1% in September. In September 2011 the P2P rate was 43.8%.
According to Gallup, this metric is based on the entire population, not just those in the workforce, as is the case with unemployment rate computations. Nor does the survey include the self-employed, part-time workers, the unemployed or workers who are out of the workforce. The firm says:
Unlike traditional employment metrics, which are reported as a percentage of the workforce, Payroll to Population accounts for people moving in and out of the workforce, which is a better barometer of the economic energy of the country. P2P will decline if people become unemployed or leave the workforce entirely and will improve as people find full-time work or re-enter the workforce to work full time. This stands in contrast to unemployment rates, which actually can artificially improve as people drop out of the workforce. …
Although September's slight dip is likely part of normal seasonal fluctuations, any significant job growth as the economy recovers will result in month-to-month increases in the P2P rate, regardless of seasonality.
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