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How Many Unemployed In Us

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The Unemployment Rate Peaked Above Levels Seen In The Great Recession

How Many People Are Unemployed In The US

The number of unemployed people was 10.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 4.9 million from a year earlier. In the second quarter of 2020, after the onset of the pandemic, the number of unemployed averaged 20.6 million, much higher than the peak reached in the aftermath of the Great Recession, when unemployment hit 15.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.5 The unemployment rate also spiked in the second quarter of 2020 and, at 13.0 percent, was the highest quarterly average ever recorded in the history of the series, which goes back to 1948. Despite rapid declines in the second half of the year, the unemployment rate averaged 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, which is nearly twice what it had been in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Note: Q1 = first quarter, Q2 = second quarter, Q3 = third quarter, and Q4 = fourth quarter.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on CPS estimates

Misclassification of some people in the labor force

Both BLS and the Census Bureau found that, despite this guidance, some people who were not working because of the coronavirus were recorded as having a job and not working for other reasons. Starting in March 2020, BLS began producing an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been if those with a job but not at work for other reasons had been counted among the unemployed on temporary layoff.

Response rates

What’s The Difference Between U

U-3 is the headline unemployment number that we see in the news. It looks at those out-of-work Americans who have been looking for a job within the past four weeks. The more comprehensive U-6 includes everyone in U-3 plus those with only temporary work and people who are considered marginally attached to the labor force. These include those who have stopped looking for a job, as well as those part-time workers that would otherwise want full-time work, if not for economic reasons.

Women Were Disproportionately Affected By The Pandemic

From the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, the number of employed women decreased by 14.5 percent, compared with a 12.1-percent decrease for men. Over the same period, the unemployment rate for women increased by 10.5 percentage points, to 14.1 percent, while the rate for men rose by 8.5 percentage points, to 12.1 percent. From the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2020, however, the number of employed women increased by 10.2 percent, compared with a 7.7-percent increase in the number of employed men. The unemployment rate for women decreased by 7.5 percentage points, compared with a 5.2-percentage-point decrease for men.

Table 3. Employed people, by occupational group, gender, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and age, annual averages, not seasonally adjusted, 2020

Occupational group
59.1 23.8

Note: Estimates for the above race groups do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. People whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data. Effective with January 2020 data, occupations reflect the introduction of the 2018 Census occupational classification system, derived from the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification . No historical data have been revised. Data for 2020 are not strictly comparable with earlier years.

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What Is The Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate is the percent of the labor force that is jobless. It is a lagging indicator, meaning that it generally rises or falls in the wake of changing economic conditions, rather than anticipating them. When the economy is in poor shape and jobs are scarce, the unemployment rate can be expected to rise. When the economy is growing at a healthy rate and jobs are relatively plentiful, it can be expected to fall.

The Unemployment Rate For Veterans Nearly Doubled Over The Year

US unemployment rate falls below 10% as firms rehire staff ...

There were 18.3 million veterans ages 18 and older in the civilian noninstitutional population in the fourth quarter of 2020. Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era account for the largest share of the veteran population, at 6.7 million, followed by veterans who served during Gulf War era II and Gulf War era I . Four million veterans served on active duty during other service periods, mainly between the Korean War and the Vietnam era and between the Vietnam era and Gulf War era II.15 Among veterans, women accounted for 10 percent of the total veteran population in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate for veterans was 5.7 percent , up by 2.6 percentage points over the year. The unemployment rate for nonveterans, at 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter, increased by 3.3 percentage points over the year. Among the youngest veterans, the jobless rate for Gulf War-era II veterans , at 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, increased by 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier. The unemployment rate for male veterans, at 5.9 percent, increased by 3.0 percentage points over the year, while the jobless rate for female veterans, at 4.7 percent, changed little over the same period.

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Unemployment Rises In 2020 As The Country Battles The Covid

Total civilian employment fell by 8.8 million over the year, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the economic expansion to a sudden halt, taking a tremendous toll on the U.S. labor market. The unemployment rate increased in 2020, surging to 13.0 percent in the second quarter of the year before easing to 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Although some people were able to work at home, the numbers of unemployed on temporary layoff, those working part time for economic reasons, and those unemployed for 27 or more weeks increased sharply over the year.

A decade-long economic expansion ended early in 2020, as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and efforts to contain it led businesses to suspend operations or close, resulting in a record number of temporary layoffs. The pandemic also prevented many people from looking for work. For the first 2 months of 2020, the economic expansion continued, reaching 128 months, or 42 quarters. This was the longest economic expansion on record before millions of jobs were lost because of the pandemic.1

Total civilian employment, as measured by the Current Population Survey , fell by 21.0 million from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, while the unemployment rate more than tripled, from 3.6 percent to 13.0 percent. This was the highest quarterly average unemployment rate in the history of the CPS.2

The CPS and the CES

The Unemployment Figures In Detail

The total number of unemployed is 6.9 million, down 542,000 from October. The number of long-term unemployed dropped to 2.19 million. A smaller number, 1.9 million, lost jobs within the last five weeks. This number declined from October’s 2.1 million.

The real unemployment rate was 7.8% in November, 0.5 percentage points lower than in October. This alternate measure of unemployment, known as U-6, gives a broader definition of unemployment. It includes people who would like a job but haven’t looked for one in the past month. It also includes those who are underemployed and marginally attached.

The real unemployment rate includes 450,000 discouraged workers, down from 455,000 in October and down from 657,000 back in Nov. 2020. Discouraged workers are people who have given up looking for work but would take a job if offered. They are not counted in the unemployment rate because they haven’t looked for a job in the past four weeks.

The labor force participation rate in November was 61.8%, up 0.2 percentage points from October. The labor force doesn’t include those who haven’t looked for a job in the past month. Some would like a job, but others dropped out of the labor force for different reasons. They may have retired, gone back to school, or had a baby.

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What Job Creation Rate Is Required To Lower The Unemployment Rate


Estimates vary for the number of jobs that must be created to absorb the inflow of persons into the labor force, to maintain a given rate of unemployment. This number is significantly affected by demographics and population growth. For example, economist Laura D’Andrea Tyson estimated this figure at 125,000 jobs per month during 2011.

Economist Paul Krugman estimated it around 90,000 during 2012, mentioning also it used to be higher. One method of calculating this figure follows, using data as of September 2012: U.S. population 314,484,000 x 0.90% annual population growth x 63% of population is working age x 63% work force participation rate / 12 months per year = 93,614 jobs/month. This approximates the Krugman figure.

Federal Reserve analysts estimated this figure around 80,000 in June 2013: “According to our analysis, job growth of more than about 80,000 jobs per month would put downward pressure on the unemployment rate, down significantly from 150,000 to 200,000 during the 1980s and 1990s. We expect this trend to fall to around 35,000 jobs per month from 2016 through theremainder of the decade.”

Empirical data

During the 41 months from January 2010 to May 2013, there were 19 months where the unemployment rate declined. On average, 179,000 jobs were created in those months. The median job creation during those months was 166,000.

Roughly 1 In 4 Young Workers Were Unemployed In The Second Quarter Of 2020

Why The U.S. Unemployment System Is Failing

In terms of the increase in the unemployment rate, the labor market disruption in the early months of the pandemic was greatest among younger workers. For people ages 16 to 24, for example, the unemployment rate jumped to 24.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 15.9 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2019. By the fourth quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 24 was back down to 12.0 percent, albeit still 3.7 percentage points higher than it was at the end of 2019. This is largely a reflection of younger workers being more likely than older workers to be employed in food preparation and serving related occupations, an occupational group hit particularly hard at the onset of the pandemic. Younger workers are also more likely to be employed part time and, as previously mentioned, employment declined more sharply among part-time workers in the early stages of the recession.

Employment for people ages 16 to 24 fell by 4.9 million, or 25.1 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. Employment for this age group rebounded by 3.7 million from the second quarter to the fourth quarter of 2020, but the level was still down by 1.1 million over the year. The employmentpopulation ratio was 48.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, 2.7 percentage points lower than it was a year earlier. Much of the employment decline occurred among those ages 20 to 24.

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Why Don’t Companies Raise Wages

WHAT MATTERS: The counter-argument is that workers in less desirable jobs are underpaid. I’m no economist, but couldn’t companies just pay workers a higher wage to bring them into the work force?TAPPE: That’s actually already happening. The reopening has spurred demand from consumers and many companies have a hard time keeping up with demand so they’re raising wages to attract workers. Under Armour Wednesday announced it will bump its US minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour to compete in this confusing labor market, which means a pay rise for 90% of the company’s store and warehouse staff. Amazon, Walmart, Costco, McDonald’s, Chipotle and others have also increased certain wages.Bank of America went a step further Tuesday and announced it would lift its minimum wage from $20 to $25 per hour.

Effect Of Disability Recipients On Labor Force Participation Measures

The number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits increased from 7.1 million in December 2007 to 8.7 million in April 2012, a 22% increase. Recipients are excluded from the labor force. Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley estimated this explained as much as 0.5 of the 2.0 percentage point decline in the U.S. labor-force participation rate during the period.

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A03 Sa: Employment Unemployment And Economic Inactivity For Men Aged From 16 To 64 And Women Aged From 16 To 59

Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59 . The employment and inactivity rates shown in this table were the headline employment and inactivity rates until August 2010, when ONS replaced these headline rates with rates for those aged from 16 to 64 for both men and women. These new headline rates for those aged from 16 to 64 are shown in Table A02 SA. These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics

Youth unemployment rates in the United States in the first ...

The statistics in this section are gathered from the LAUS Program. This program provides estimates of labor force and the unemployment rate, by place of residence.For more information read our LAUS Program Information Sheet and go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website.

County Unemployment Rate

*To access historical data, scroll down to the bottom of the table and click , specify Date Range “From, To” then choose whether you want to Preview/Print or download in a specific format .*

More Data:

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Blacks Asians And Hispanics Were More Adversely Affected Than Whites By The Pandemic

In 2020, employment fell sharply for all race and ethnicity groups, as evidenced by declines in the employmentpopulation ratios for Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics.9 Improvements in the second half of the year were not substantial enough to make up for the steep drops that occurred in the second quarter. However, some groups were affected more than others. Although the ratio for Whites decreased by 3.2 percentage points over the year, to 57.9 percent, the declines in the employmentpopulation ratios for Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians were more pronounced. The ratio for Blacks decreased to 53.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, a loss of 5.1 percentage points over the year. The employmentpopulation ratios for Hispanics and Asians also fell sharply during 2020, with the ratio for Hispanics decreasing by 4.8 percentage points, to 59.6 percent, and the ratio for Asians decreasing by 4.4 percentage points, to 58.2 percent.

6.7 8.9

Note: Dash indicates data not available. Data for Asians are not available before 2000 and are not seasonally adjusted before 2010. People of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity may be of any race. Q1 = first quarter, Q2 = second quarter, Q3 = third quarter, and Q4 = fourth quarter.

President’s Council On Jobs And Competitiveness

President Obama established the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in 2009. The Council released an interim report with a series of recommendations in October 2011. The report included five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness:

  • Measures to accelerate investment into job-rich projects in infrastructure and energy development
  • A comprehensive drive to ignite entrepreneurship and accelerate the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms that produce an outsized share of America’s new jobs
  • A national investment initiative to boost jobs-creating inward investment in the United States, both from global firms headquartered elsewhere and from multinational corporations headquartered here
  • Ideas to simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals to accelerate jobs and growth and,
  • Steps to ensure America has the talent in place to fill existing job openings as well as to boost future job creation.
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    Labour Market Overview Uk: December 2021

    What’s in the bulletin?

    • Our most timely estimate of payrolled employees indicates that in November 2021 there were 29.4 million employees in the UK: up 257,000 on the revised October 2021 level and up 424,000 on the pre-coronavirus February 2020 level.
    • Our latest Labour Force Survey estimates for August to October 2021 show the employment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points on the quarter, to 75.5%.
    • The number of job vacancies in September to November 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,219,000, an increase of 434,500 from the pre-coronavirus January to March 2020 level.
    • UK: Aged 16 and over

      4.2 %2021 AUG-OCT

    • UK: Aged 16 and over

      4.1 %2021 AUG-OCT

    • UK: Aged 16 and over

      4.3 %2021 AUG-OCT

    Comparison Of Employment Recovery Across Recessions And Financial Crises

    10 million unemployed in the US | Coronavirus business update

    One method of analyzing the impact of recessions on employment is to measure the period of time it takes to return to the pre-recession employment peak. By this measure, the 20082009 recession was considerably worse than the five other U.S. recessions from 1970 to present. By May 2013, U.S. employment had reached 98% of its pre-recession peak after approximately 60 months. Employment recovery following a combined recession and financial crisis tends to be much longer than a typical recession. For example, it took Norway 8.5 years to return to its pre-recession peak employment after its 1987 financial crisis and it took Sweden 17.8 years after its 1991 financial crisis. The U.S. is recovering considerably faster than either of these countries.

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    Is A Lack Of Access To Child Care

    WHAT MATTERSYou’ve written about how lack of child care during Covid and start-stop returns to public schools has affected both companies who want to bring workers back and workers who can’t figure out where to put their kids. Is that a large enough issue to affect the labor market?TAPPE:because of child care obligations at homedaycares and schools are not fully back up

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