When it comes to work, there are indicators and then there are indicators.
The Labor Department won’t report on the state of the U.S. job market this month until the first Friday in February.
Gallup, which conducts its own survey of employment and joblessness, reported today:
The factor that Gallup tracks — the “U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate” — is down from a year ago: The percentage of American adults who are employed full-time stood at 43.7 percent in mid-January. That is down from 44.2 percent in mid-January 2012.
The figure is a rolling average of 30 days of surveys.
And unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, stood at 8 percent in mid-January, increasing from 7.7 percent in December — while lower than the rate in January 2012.
The last word from Labor on unemployment in December was 7.8 percent.
We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see if Gallup’s 8 percent gauge mid-month bears out for January.
These numbers come from Gallup daily tracking interviews, conducted with land-line and mobile phones, with approximately 30,000 Americans surveyed from Dec. 11 through Jan. 15. Gallup notes: The rolling 30-day survey period “differs significantly from the reference period the U.S. government’s monthly employment reports use, which is one week in the first half of the month.”