— Unemployment could rise back to 9 percent of the U.S. population in Feburary, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, painting a grim picture for the Obama administration, which had been temporarily buoyed by promising jobs figures at the end of January.
Gallup’s mid-month reading, which traditionally previews the government report issued at the end of the month, shows a rise of seven-tenths of a percentage from the 8.3 percent unemployment rate at the end of January. That would be the worst unemployment figure since September of last year.
The survey firm said seasonal factors — including job loss by seasonal workers hired over the holidays — could be responsible for the dip.
“Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January,” the firm said in a statement accompanying the release of the data.
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