U.S. Underemployment Steady at 18.4% in July

Aug. 6, 2010
For age group 18-29, 28.4% are underemployed

Underemployment, as measured by Gallup, was 18.4% in July, essentially unchanged from 18.3% at the end of June and in mid-July. Underemployment peaked at 20.4% in April.

Gallup's underemployment measure includes both Americans who are unemployed and those working part-time but wanting full-time work. It is based on more than 20,000 phone interviews with U.S. adults aged 18 and older in the workforce, collected over a 30-day period and reported daily and weekly.

The unemployment rate component of Gallup's underemployment measure fell to 8.9% at the end of July -- down from 9.2% at the end of June and 9.3% in mid-July. However, this decrease was more than offset by an increase to 9.5% in the percentage of employees working part-time but wanting full-time work.

Americans aged 18 to 29 had easily the highest underemployment rate in July of any age group, at 28.4%, including 11.8% who were unemployed and 16.6% who were employed part-time but wanted full-time work. Among all U.S. adults in the workforce, a higher percentage of women than of men are underemployed.

Workers without any college education are more likely than those with more formal education to be underemployed.

The percentage of underemployed Americans who are "hopeful" that they will be able to find a job in the next four weeks fell to 40% in July -- down from the better levels of May (43%) and June (42%).

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