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Jobless picture is worse than you think: Gallup

By Jeff Cox

While the government next week is expected to say the unemployment picture continues its gradual improvement, one indicator shows this jobs market is the worst in a year and a half. Widely followed pollster Gallup puts the nation’s unemployment rate at an ugly 8.6 percent in August, a startling jump from the 7.8 percent the organization recorded for July. When counting the underemployed, the rate zooms to 17.7 percent, off its 2013 high of 18.2 percent.

The government puts the jobless figure at 7.4 percent, and 14 percent when including the underemployed and those who have quit looking.

While Gallup’s numbers have offered significant divergences from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the two numbers had been running fairly close for most of the year. In fact, Gallup’s tally actually briefly slipped below the government’s in April when it recorded 7.4 percent, compared to the BLS number then of 7.5 percent.

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