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.
Difficulty Covering Household Expenses
Since late August 2020, the Household Pulse Survey has provided data on the number of adults struggling to cover usual household expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, car payments, medical expenses, or student loans. Some 63 million adults 29 percent of all adults in the country reported it was somewhat or very difficult for their household to cover usual expenses in the past seven days, according to data collected September 29October 11.
The share of adults reporting difficulty covering usual expenses rose through the fall of 2020, reaching a peak of 38 percent in mid-December. This likely reflected, in part, weaknesses of the relief packages enacted in the spring of 2020, including increased jobless benefits that expired over the summer, stimulus payments whose impact faded later in the year, and inadequate nutrition and housing assistance.
In early 2021, the share of adults with trouble covering expenses stabilized as aid from the end-of-year relief package including renewed jobless benefits and another round of stimulus payments reached households.
Following the enactment of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, and as the economy added jobs, the share of adults who had trouble covering usual expenses fell dramatically. The share ticked upward in May, likely due to the fading impact of the third round of stimulus payments, but it has remained statistically unchanged in recent months.
The National Unemployment Rate: 147%
The Department of Labor releases the latest national unemployment rate at the beginning of each month. In the figures for April, which was released earlier in May, the rate was 14.7%, up from 4.4% in March. While many states have begun gradual reopening processes, the figure only represents those whose claims were filed up until mid-April. Millions more have filed claims since then, though we will not know how that has affected the unemployment rate until Mays figures are released in early June.
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The Number Of Involuntary Part
People who work part time for economic reasons, often referred to as involuntary part-time workers, worked less than 35 hours per week but would have preferred full-time employment.14 They mainly worked a reduced number of hours because of unfavorable business conditions or their inability to find full-time work. Involuntary part-time workers are often described as underemployed.
Note: Q1 = first quarter, Q2 = second quarter, Q3 = third quarter, and Q4 = fourth quarter.
The number of involuntary part-time workers increased by 2.2 million over the year, averaging 6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, which represented 4.3 percent of total employment, compared with 2.7 percent of employment the previous year. This measure of the underemployed reached an all-time high of 10.2 million in the second quarter of 2020, with essentially all of the increase occurring among those working part time because of slack work. The number of people who could only find part-time work declined by 156,000 over the year, dropping to 1.1 million in 2020.
Unemployment Rate Statistics & News: Worst & Best Countries In The World
For those thinking the United States of America has it bad, here are the three countries with the highest unemployment rates in the world, as well as the three with the best rates. However, keep in mind that the notably high and low rates arent always reflective of the countries economic state. There are other factors in play, but for now, lets just focus on the unemployment demographics around the globe.
30. The unemployment rate in Syria is approximately 8.45%
This war-torn country has an unemployment rate of 8.5%. Unfortunately, its been around 8% since 2009. However, 2001 was the worst year for Syrian citizens when unemployment is in question. The unemployment rate in 2001 was 11.63%
31. As of 2019, 6.6% of Senegals labor population is unemployed.
This West African country, home to 15.85 million people, has been facing steady unemployment rates in recent years. Historically speaking, Senegal has endured low unemployment rates. However, due to a rapid growth in population, the countrys rates spiked up from 2006 to 2011, reaching an all-time high of 10.36%.
The government managed to calm these unemployment trends and lowered the unemployment with each passing year down to a 6.6% in 2019.
32. Djibouti has an unemployment rate of around 10.32%.
33. Cambodia has an unemployment rate of just 0.3%.
34. Qatars unemployment rate is only slightly higher, at 0.6%.
35. Just 0.7% of Thailands population is unemployed.
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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.
Why Is There Such A Big Gap In The Data
The first thing to understand is how each figure is derived. The 10.1 million unemployed data point comes from a survey of 60,000 households the Census Bureau collects each month. All the adults in the household are asked a series of questions about whether they are employed full or part time, if they are looking for work or if they have given up and stopped looking for a job. To be considered officially unemployed, someone must have searched for a job within the past month.
In normal times, this monthly survey works pretty well, but these are not normal times. Response rates to this survey have fallen during the pandemic, and low-income families that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and job losses have been the least likely to respond, census researchers found.
Another unusual challengeof this pandemic is a lot of people arent sure if they are truly unemployed or just on an extended absence from work. The Labor Department has been open about a misclassification error in which some people who should have been marked as temporarily unemployed were instead classified as employed but absent from work for other reasons. This issue makes the unemployment figures look betterthan they are.
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There Are Now A Record 5 Million More Job Openings Than Unemployed People In The Us
- Job openings edged lower to about 11.3 million in February, about 5 million more than the level of unemployed workers.
- Quits increased to 4.35 million as the Great Resignation persisted.
An increasing number of Americans quit their jobs in February, while the gap between available positions and the unemployed grew even wider, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that 4.35 million workers left in February, an increase of 94,000 from the previous month. It’s also a slightly higher level as a percentage of the workforce, up to 2.9% from 2.8%.
At the same time, there were 11.27 million openings in the month, down just slightly from January. However, with the total level of those counted as unemployed contracting further to 6.27 million, that left a record 5 million more openings than available workers. There were 1.8 jobs for every person unemployed.
Education and health services had the highest level of job openings for the month, at 2.23 million, followed by professional and business services with 2.1 million, and trade, transportation and utilities with 1.86 million.
The quits level was off its November 2021 high of 4.51 million, which amounted to 3% of the overall workforce. The highest level came in trade, transportation and utilities, at 1.06 million. Leisure and hospitality, a critical proxy for the pandemic-era economic recovery, saw its quits rate unchanged at 5.6%.
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.
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+ Startling Unemployment Statistics
Even the worlds greatest economies struggle with unemployment, including countries with a high life satisfaction index. In fact, unemployment statistics show that Denmark has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, which is the best country to live in, according to the index.
The United States isnt exempt from this issue. Some parts of the country suffer more, while others are less affected. In the following 30+ fascinating statistics, well analyze unemployment in America and compare it to the rest of the world by going through past and present data.
Lets dive in.
The United States Has Not Had Reliable Data During The Pandemic To Answer A Very Basic Question: How Many Americans Are Out Of Work
The United States currently has a lot of people out of work even more than during the worst point of the Great Recession. But exactly how many people are unemployed right now is a surprisingly tricky question to answer. And some economists think the official count is far too low.
The official number of unemployed Americans is 10.1 million, according to the Labor Department. That statistic comes from the monthly jobs report that the Labor Department puts out the first Friday of each month, which shows the official unemployment rate at the moment is 6.3 percent.
But theres another government data source that indicates a much higher number of unemployed. Every Thursday, the Labor Department reports how many people are receiving jobless aid from the government. The latest data indicates 18.3 million people were receiving weekly unemployment payments through Jan. 30. That figure fluctuates a bit week to week, but it has hovered closeto 20 million for the past few months. Top White House officials often cite this number when they talk about the economic pain the country is still facing and make the case for another round of aid, including more stimulus payments to individuals.
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Million Americans Are Unemployedheres The Story Of The Job Seekers Behind The Numbers
On Thursday, the United States Department of Labor announced that over 1.3 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week. This report marks the 17th consecutive week of 1-million-plus unemployment claims. About 51 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This doesnt include the millions of others whove finished collecting benefits, given up looking for a job or have reluctantly taken a position far below their prior compensation level just to make ends meet.
Now, all we ever hear about is the data behind the jobs crisis. However, we hardly ever hear the personalized stories of the Americans behind the statistics. Here are some of the testimonies of the people who are gallantly trying to find a new job against all odds during this very unforgiving job market.
Donna Lauria doesnt possess a college degree, but found her way into Prudentialone of the largest insurance and financial services firms in the world. She spent decades at the Newark, New Jersey-based organization, working her way up the corporate ladder and earned roughly $200k in salary, bonuses and benefits.
Solutions For Creating More Us Jobs
A variety of options for creating jobs exist, but these are strongly debated and often have tradeoffs in terms of additional government debt, adverse environmental impact, and impact on corporate profitability. Examples include infrastructure investment, tax reform, healthcare cost reduction, energy policy and carbon price certainty, reducing the cost to hire employees, education and training, deregulation, and trade policy. Authors Bittle & Johnson of Public agenda explained the pros and cons of 14 job creation arguments frequently discussed, several of which are summarized below by topic. These are hotly debated by experts from across the political spectrum.
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An Increase In Precariousness
Australia’s labour market has been radically restructured in recent decades.
In the 1970s, policymakers abandoned the old full employment model of the post-World War II era.
They replaced it with a new model that allowed much higher levels of unemployment to suppress wages and inflation.
Since then, there haven’t been enough jobs to go around by design.
It has coincided with the casualisation of the workforce, rising underemployment and declining wages growth.
And according to economics Professor Ross Garnaut, ordinary Australians experienced a period of income stagnation between 2013 and 2020 that was unprecedented since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
He says 2013 to 2020 were Australia’s “Dog Days.”
He included the above graph in his 2021 book Reset: Restoring Australia after the Great Crash of 2020.
In that book, he said Australians could be forgiven for being angry.
“In the best of circumstances, by 2025, Australians will have lived through the longest period of real income stagnation in our national history,” he warned.
Us Unemployment Rate: Bidens Performance Compared To Trump
The U.S. jobs report for November was a mixed bag. While the economy added fewer-than-expected jobs, most economists saw the falling unemployment rate and rising labor force participation as positives. Meanwhile, after a supercharged electoral race, there are bound to be comparisons between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Obviously, the world has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Trumps presidency was marked by sharp growth in the U.S. and the global economy in the first three years. However, in his last year as the U.S. president, the U.S. economy fell into a recession.
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How Has The Us Unemployment Rate Been Under Biden
Under Bidens presidency, the U.S. unemployment rate has continued to come down and was 4.2 percent in November. The economic stimulus announced by Trump, and then the Biden administration’s continued aid helped propel a recovery in the U.S. job market.
One concerning aspect of the U.S. labor market has been the low labor force participation rate. Simply put, the labor force participation rate tells us how many adults above the age of 16 are either working or actively looking for a job.
Today, we have incredible news that our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2% a level experts didnt expect us to achieve until 2024. Weve created 588,000 jobs per month on average this year a record. America is back to work, and our jobs recovery is going strong.
The Duration Of Unemployment Changed Markedly After The Initial Pandemic Shock
The evolving effects of the pandemic on the labor market in 2020 were also evident in the changing estimates of the duration of unemployment during the year. For instance, as unemployment surged following the onset of the pandemic, there was an increase in the number of people who were newly unemployedthat is, those unemployed for less than 5 weeks. Those who were unemployed for less than 5 weeks accounted for 34.7 percent of the total unemployed in the last quarter of 2019 that figure increased to 40.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, when the effects of the pandemic first became noticeable. After peaking early in the second quarter, the share of the unemployed who were unemployed for less than 5 weeks began to decrease and the number of those unemployed for 5 to 14 weeks began to increase.
The share of those unemployed for 5 to 14 weeks rose from 29.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 54.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020, before it began to decline. As the year progressed, the initial surge in unemployment continued to move through the longer duration categories. By the third quarter of 2020, the number of people who were unemployed for 15 to 26 weeks represented the largest share of the total unemployed, at 42.1 percent.
Note: Note: Data for people unemployed less than 5 weeks and 27 weeks or longer are seasonally adjusted. Q1 = first quarter, Q2 = second quarter, Q3 = third quarter, and Q4 = fourth quarter.
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