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 44.5% in April to 43.9% in May.
The May reading remains well below the 45.7 measured in October 2012, the highest reading in three years.
Gallup's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May is 8.2%, an increase of 0.4% from the firm's April calculation. The "official" number due out tomorrow from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to remain flat with April's unemployment rate of 7.5%.
According to Gallup, its P2P 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.
Gallup said that the full-time self-employment rate rose from 5.2% in April to 5.5% in May, the one bright spot in the May readings. But it is difficult to judge whether self-employment is rising by necessity or choice.
Gallup also reported that the workforce participation rate stayed essentially flat month-over-month at 68.4% and was up slightly year-over-year from a reading of 68.1% in May 2012. The December underemployment rate came in at 18%, above April's 17.5% reading and flat compared with May 2012.
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