Despite what was generally seen as a relatively poor August unemployment report, economic confidence is up, Wall Street is up, and the president continues to lead Mitt Romney as the elections approach. Given this context, imagine what might happen to economic and political perceptions if the government's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate falls to 7.9% in September -- nearly matching its lowest level since the president took office. While this seems unlikely based on Gallup's September polling, it remains a distinct possibility.
Gallup and the government showed the same adjusted unemployment rate of 8.1% for August. Gallup's unadjusted rate for August was also 8.1%, while the government reported an 8.2% unadjusted rate.
Regardless, surprise seems to be the norm in the government's unemployment reports this year. So, it cannot be totally discounted that the government's unadjusted decline in the unemployment rate could be larger than Gallup's, that its seasonal adjustment could be smaller for September, and/or that it could show another decline in the size of the workforce. As a result, a 7.9% unemployment rate for September remains possible, if unlikely.