Almost 20% of US Underemployed
Actual job picture much worse than official statistics indicate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2010 9:40 AM CST
Maria Marroquin helps find work for unemployed workers at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Roughly 30 million Americans, almost 20% of the workforce, are either unemployed or able to find only part-time work, according to a new poll. The Gallup survey, which tallied 20,000 respondents and has a 1% margin of error, paints a far darker picture of the economic landscape than official US statistics, which peg unemployment at just under 10% and underemployment at 16.5%, Reuters reports.

Among those underemployed, 60% said they were not hopeful that they’d find an adequate job within the next month. But they remain optimistic about the government, with 55% approving of President Obama, compared to 49% of the general public. The glut of underemployment could spell trouble for the economy; the underemployed spent 36% less than their employed counterparts in January.