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What Percentage Of Americans Are Unemployed

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Demographics And Employment Trends

10 percent of US workforce now unemployed

Employment trends can be analyzed by any number of demographic factors individually or in combination, such as age, gender, educational attainment, and race. A major trend underlying the analysis of employment numbers is the aging of the white workforce, which is roughly 70% of the employment total by race as of November 2016. For example, the prime working age white population declined by 4.8 million between December 2007 and November 2016, roughly 5%, while non-white populations are increasing. This is a major reason why non-white and foreign-born workers are increasing their share of the employed. However, white prime-age workers have also had larger declines in labor force participation than some non-white groups, for reasons not entirely clear. Such changes may have important political implications.

Last Hired First Fired: How The Great Depression Affected African Americans

  • Original: Apr 18, 2018

While no group escaped the economic devastation of the Great Depression, few suffered more than African Americans, who experienced the highest unemployment rate during the 1930s.

Lasting from 1929 to 1939, the Great Depression was the worst economic downtown in the industrialized world. While no group escaped the economic devastation of the Great Depression, few suffered more than African Americans. Said to be last hired, first fired, African Americans were the first to see hours and jobs cut, and they experienced the highest unemployment rate during the 1930s. Since they were already relegated to lower-paying professions, African Americans had less of a financial cushion to fall back on when the economy collapsed.

The Great Depression impacted African Americans for decades to come. It spurred the rise of African-American activism, which laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The popularity of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal program also saw African Americans switch their political allegiances to become a core part of the Democratic Partys voting bloc.

During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of African-American who fell into debt joined the Great Migration from the rural South to the urban North. According to Greenberg, by 1940 1.75 million African Americans had moved from the South to cities in the North and West.

Understanding The Unemployment Rate

The U.S. unemployment rate is released on the first Friday of every month and reports on the preceding month’s unemployment figures. The current and past editions of the report are available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Users can generate and download tables showing any of the labor market measures named above for a specified date range.

In the U.S., the official and the most commonly cited national unemployment rate is the U-3, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases as part of its monthly employment situation report. It defines unemployed people as those who are willing and available to work, and who have actively sought work within the past four weeks.

According to the BLS, those with temporary, part-time, or full-time jobs are considered employed, as are those who perform at least 15 hours of unpaid family work. The unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted to account for predictable variations, such as extra hiring during the holidays. The BLS also provides the unadjusted rate.

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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.

Breakdown Of Participation Rate By Race And Gender

How has Covid

These charts give a glimpse into those whose labor participation was most affected by the pandemic. For Black and Hispanic people, the drops in labor participation were more dramatic than that of their white counterparts with notable gaps between their rates of participation during the pandemic and their pre-pandemic norms. Each drop not only represents those without a job, but more specifically, those who have had to drop out of the labor force entirely.

Structural barriers, such as the location of jobs, alignment of the skillsets of workers to available work, lack of childcare or even discriminatory practices, have influence on who participates in the labor force.

I call it the spigot effect, said Rodgers. For certain groups, you have to take into account how much the faucet is turned on.

When workers face enough barriers to drop out of the labor force entirely, they no longer appear in the headline unemployment rate at all.

Although 4.8% may sound like a job market in healthy recovery, the truth is that the pandemic is still being felt across the labor market and it is hurting those who can least afford it.

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Percent Of Unemployed Jobless 27 Weeks Or More As Pandemic Continues November 2020

The United States declared a national emergency in March 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment rose by 1.4 million in March, with a large increase in the number of newly unemployedthat is, those unemployed for less than 5 weeks. Prior to the pandemic, those unemployed less than 5 weeks accounted for roughly one-third of the total unemployed, but this share increased to nearly one-half in March. In the months that followed, changes in the duration of joblessness reflected the evolving effects of the pandemic on the labor market.

Number of unemployed by duration of unemployment, January 2019November 2020, seasonally adjusted

17.4 36.9

Note: Detail for the seasonally adjusted data will not necessarily sum to total because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the duration groups.

For instance, in April 2020, the share of the unemployed who were unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased to 61.9 percent, and those unemployed for 5 to 14 weeks grew to 30.4 percent. Because of the large and rapid influx of newly unemployed people, the long-term unemployedthose looking for work for 27 weeks or moreinitially accounted for a declining share of the total unemployed, representing only 4.1 percent of the total unemployed in April, the smallest share since 1953.


Census Bureau Data Show High Rates Of Hardship

The Census Bureaus Household Pulse Survey, launched in April 2020, has provided nearly real-time data on how the unprecedented health and economic crisis is affecting the nation. Data from this and other sources, such as unemployment data from Census Current Population Survey and the Department of Labor, show that millions of people are out of work and struggling to afford adequate food and pay the rent. The impacts on children are large .

For more on our methodology and data by state, see tables 1-4 at the end of this document.

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State Unemployment Rates By Race And Ethnicity

EPI analyzes state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity, and racial/ethnic unemployment rate gaps, on a quarterly basis to generate a sample size large enough to create reliable estimates of unemployment rates by race and ethnicity at the state level. We only report estimates for states for which the sample size of these subgroups is large enough to create an accurate estimate. For this reason, the number of states included in our map and data tables varies based on the analysis performed .

Why Is There Such A Big Gap In The Data

Unemployment Rate For Americans With Disabilities Hit 12.6 Percent In 2020 | NBC News NOW

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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Trends Among Asian Workers

Asian unemployment rate estimates are available for 11 states, and data on the change in Asian unemployment rates since the fourth quarter of 2007 are available for eight states. The Asian unemployment rate was lowest in New York and highest in Washington . The Asian unemployment rate was at or below its pre-recession level in California, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, and Texas. In three states the Asian unemployment rate was above its pre-recession level: New Jersey , Washington , and Illinois .

Job Growth Projections 20162026

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on October 24, 2017 its projections of job growth by industry and job type over the 20162026 period. Healthcare was the industry expected to add the most jobs, driven by demand from an aging population. The top three occupations were: personal care aides with 754,000 jobs added or a 37% increase home health aids with 425,600 or 47% and software developers at 253,400 or 30.5%.

BLS also reported that: “About 9 out of 10 new jobs are projected to be added in the service-providing sector from 2016 to 2026, resulting in more than 10.5 million new jobs, or 0.8 percent annual growth. The goods-producing sector is expected to increase by 219,000 jobs, growing at a rate of 0.1 percent per year over the projections decade.” BLS predicted that manufacturing jobs would decline by over 700,000 over that period.

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What Is The True Cost Of Youth Unemployment

Youth unemployment leads to depressed lifetime earnings

Not only is unemployment bad for young people now, but the negative effects of being unemployed have also been shown to follow a person throughout his or her career. A young person who has been unemployed for six months can expect to earn about $22,000 less over the next 10 years than they could have expected to earn had they not experienced a lengthy period of unemployment. In April 2010 the number of people ages 2024 who were unemployed for more than six months had reached an all-time high of 967,000 people. We estimate that these young Americans will lose a total of $21.4 billion in earnings over the next 10 years.

This estimate is based on a study that found men who experienced a six-month period of unemployment at age 22 earned 8 percent less at age 23 than they would have otherwise. The wage gap narrows with age, but it still persists. By age 26, the men earned 6 percent less than they would have if they had never been unemployed. Even by age 31, their wages were 3 percent or 4 percent lower than they otherwise would have been. Long-term unemployment robs young people of the opportunity to gain the skills, experiences, and connections that translate into higher wages.

Youth unemployment incurs fiscal costs

Energy Policy And Carbon Price Certainty

How has Covid

Various studies place the cost of environmental regulations in the thousands of dollars per employee. Americans are split on whether protecting the environment or economic growth is a higher priority. Regulations that would add costs to petroleum and coal may slow the economy, although they would provide incentives for clean energy investment by addressing regulatory uncertainty regarding the price of carbon.

President Obama advocated a series of clean energy policies during June 2013. These included: Reducing carbon pollution from power plants Continue expanding usage of clean energy raising fuel economy standards and energy conservation through more energy-efficient homes and businesses.

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Unemployment Is High Why Are Businesses Struggling To Hire

Health concerns, expanded jobless benefits and still being needed at home are among the reasons would-be workers might be staying away.

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There are two distinct, and completely opposite, ways of looking at the American job market.

One would be to consult the data tables produced every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which suggest a plentiful supply of would-be workers. The unemployment rate is 6 percent, representing 9.7 million Americans who say they are actively looking for work.

Alternately, you could search for news articles mentioning labor shortage. You will find dozens in which businesses, especially in the restaurant and other service industries, say they face a potentially catastrophic inability to hire. The anecdotes come from the biggest metropolitan areas and from small towns, as well as from touristdestinations of all varieties.

If this apparent labor shortage persists, it will have huge implications for the economy in 2021 and beyond. It could act as a brake on growth and cause unnecessary business failures, long lines at remaining businesses, and rising prices.

What Are The Other Measures Of Us Unemployment

American unemployment rates utilize five measures in addition to the headline H3 figures: U-1, U-2, U-4, U-5, and U-6. Each of these incrementally considers additional groups of individuals and labels them as unemployed The U-6 number is sometimes referred to as the “real” unemployment rate since it is the most comprehensive.

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Almost 20% Of Americans Are Unemployed

New job creation in the last decade in the United States has been wiped out.


For the fifth week in a row, millions of Americans filed for unemployment insurance, and there is no respite in sight. 4.4 million people filed for jobless benefits in the week ending April 18. Economists consensus had been 4.2 -5 million. Over 26 million people have now filed for UI, since state-at-home measures began due to the COVID-19 public health and economic California was the first state to institute such a requirement on March 19. In comparison, 8.7 million were officially unemployed during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Together with the people who were unemployed right before the COVID-19 crisis began, almost 20% of Americans are jobless, a level not seen since 1935. As of April 14, 35 states already have 10% or more of their workforce out of a job.

Sum of Last Four Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims as a Percent of A States Labor Force.

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Weekly Economic Index

Collection Of Unemployment Data

Black Americans face higher joblessness

Official U.S. employment statistics are produced by the BLS, an agency within the Department of Labor. Every month the Census Bureau, part of the Department of Commerce, conducts the Current Population Survey using a sample of around 60,000 households, or around 110,000 individuals.

The survey collects data on individuals in these households by race, ethnicity, age, veteran status, and gender , all of whichalong with geographyadd nuance to the employment data. The sample is rotated so that 75% of the households are constant from month to month and 50% are from year to year. Interviews are conducted in person or by phone.

The survey excludes individuals under the age of 16 and those who are in the Armed Forces . People in correctional facilities, mental healthcare facilities, and other similar institutions are also excluded. Interviewers ask a series of questions that determine employment status, but do not ask whether respondents are employed or unemployed. Nor do the interviewers themselves assign employment status they record the answers for the BLS to analyze.

Interviewers also collect information on industry, occupation, average earnings, union membership, andfor the joblesswhether they quit or were discharged .

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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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