United States Unemployment Rate  1948-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 p.p. to 4.7 percent in May 2016 from 5 percent in April, beating market expectations of 4.9 percent. It was the lowest reading since November 2007, as the number of unemployed persons declined by 484,000 to 7.4 million and the labor force participation rate fell for the second month in a row. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.82 percent from 1948 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953. Unemployment Rate in the United States is reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

United States Unemployment Rate
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Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
4.70 5.00 10.80 2.50 1948 - 2016 percent Monthly
In the United States, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Unemployment Rate - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on July of 2016.


Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2016-04-01 12:30 PM Mar 5% 4.9% 4.9% 4.9%
2016-05-06 12:30 PM Apr 5% 5% 5% 5%
2016-06-03 12:30 PM May 4.7% 5% 4.9% 5%
2016-07-08 12:30 PM Jun 4.7% 4.8% 4.8%
2016-08-05 12:30 PM Jul 4.9%
2016-09-02 12:30 PM Aug 5%

US Jobless Rate Lowest Since November 2007


The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 p.p. to 4.7 percent in May 2016 from 5 percent in April, beating market expectations of 4.9 percent. It was the lowest reading since November 2007, as the number of unemployed persons declined by 484,000 to 7.4 million and the labor force participation rate fell for the second month in a row.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.3 percent), adult women (4.2 percent), Whites (4.1 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) declined in May. The rates for teenagers (16.0 percent), Blacks (8.2 percent), and Asians (4.1 percent) showed little or no change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 178,000 to 1.9 million in May. These individuals accounted for 25.1 percent of the unemployed. The number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks decreased by 338,000 to 2.2 million. 

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 282,000 over the month to 3.6 million. 

The civilian labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.6 percent.  The rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point over the past 2 months, offsetting gains in the first quarter. The employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, was unchanged. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 468,000 to 6.4 million in May, after showing little movement since November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In May, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 538,000 discouraged workers in May, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
6/3/2016 3:08:41 PM

United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 4.70 5.00 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 38.00 123.00 1115.00 -1967.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 25.00 171.00 1089.00 -814.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 13.00 -11.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls -10.00 2.00 572.00 -519.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 268.00 259.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 2120.00 2142.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 173.00 205.00 357.00 -881.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 151030.00 151004.00 151320.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 7436.00 7920.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.20 0.40 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.40 34.40 34.70 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 62.60 62.80 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 1.19 1.29 2.80 1.19 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 10.40 10.80 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Productivity 105.86 106.13 106.59 27.57 Index Points [+]
Labour Costs 109.67 108.59 109.67 17.12 Index Points [+]
Job Vacancies 6077.00 5729.00 6197.00 2132.00 Thousand [+]
Job Offers 5788.00 5670.00 5788.00 2196.00 Thousands [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 30157.00 105696.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 21.49 21.46 21.49 2.50 USD/Hour [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 20.41 20.40 20.41 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 4.60 5.20 13.77 -5.77 percent [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Employment Cost Index 0.60 0.50 1.60 0.20 percent [+]
Labor Market Conditions Index -4.80 -0.90 28.50 -43.60 [+]
Population 321.57 319.07 321.57 76.09 Million [+]
Retirement Age Women 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Retirement Age Men 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Part Time Employment 27936.00 27797.00 28134.00 10086.00 Thousand [+]
Wages Low Skilled 1750.00 1650.00 1750.00 1450.00 USD/Month [+]
Wages High Skilled 4140.00 4090.00 4140.00 4000.00 USD/Month [+]
Living Wage Family 2600.00 2740.00 2740.00 2600.00 USD/Month [+]
Living Wage Individual 1620.00 1670.00 1670.00 1620.00 USD/Month [+]
Full Time Employment 123135.00 123194.00 123447.00 64640.00 Thousand [+]
Employment Rate 59.70 59.70 64.70 55.00 percent [+]




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Haiti 40.60 Dec/10
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Jordan 14.60 Mar/16
Eritrea 14.50 Dec/84
Croatia 14.40 May/16
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Jamaica 13.30 Mar/16
Zambia 13.30 Dec/14
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Egypt 12.70 Mar/16
Portugal 12.40 Mar/16
Nigeria 12.10 Mar/16
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Turkey 10.10 Mar/16
Morocco 10.00 Mar/16
Latvia 9.80 Dec/15
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Bulgaria 9.30 Apr/16
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European Union 8.60 May/16
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Uruguay 8.10 Apr/16
Fiji 7.90 Dec/14
Mauritius 7.90 Dec/15
Ireland 7.80 May/16
Burundi 7.70 Dec/12
Central African Republic 7.60 Dec/12
Guinea Bissau 7.60 Dec/13
Lithuania 7.60 May/16
Sweden 7.60 May/16
Bolivia 7.40 Dec/13
Ecuador 7.40 Mar/16
Venezuela 7.30 Apr/16
Oman 7.20 Dec/14
Peru 7.10 Apr/16
Comoros 7.00 Dec/12
El Salvador 7.00 Dec/14
Brunei 6.90 Dec/14
Canada 6.90 May/16
Togo 6.90 Dec/13
Chile 6.80 May/16
Nicaragua 6.80 Dec/14
Burkina Faso 6.60 Dec/14
Malawi 6.60 Dec/13
Romania 6.60 May/16
Estonia 6.50 Mar/16
Luxembourg 6.50 May/16
Lebanon 6.40 Dec/14
Netherlands 6.30 May/16
Moldova 6.20 Mar/16
Germany 6.10 Jun/16
Philippines 6.10 Jun/16
Argentina 5.90 Sep/15
Pakistan 5.90 Dec/15
Paraguay 5.80 Dec/15
Australia 5.70 May/16
Cayman Islands 5.60 Dec/15
Chad 5.60 Dec/13
Russia 5.60 May/16
Saudi Arabia 5.60 Dec/15
Hungary 5.50 May/16
Indonesia 5.50 Mar/16
Czech Republic 5.40 May/16
Ivory Coast 5.30 Dec/13
Ghana 5.20 Dec/13
New Zealand 5.20 Mar/16
Kazakhstan 5.10 Mar/16
Azerbaijan 5.00 Dec/15
United Kingdom 5.00 Apr/16
India 4.90 Dec/13
Malta 4.90 Mar/16
Israel 4.80 May/16
Seychelles 4.70 Dec/14
United States 4.70 May/16
Norway 4.60 Apr/16
Bangladesh 4.30 Dec/14
Denmark 4.30 May/16
Honduras 4.30 Dec/13
Sri Lanka 4.30 Dec/15
United Arab Emirates 4.20 Dec/12
North Korea 4.10 Dec/14
China 4.04 Mar/16
Myanmar 4.02 Dec/13
Cameroon 4.00 Dec/13
Mexico 4.00 May/16
Taiwan 3.96 May/16
Liberia 3.80 Dec/14
Uganda 3.80 Dec/13
Bahrain 3.70 Dec/12
South Korea 3.70 May/16
Malaysia 3.60 Apr/16
Trinidad and Tobago 3.50 Dec/15
Hong Kong 3.40 May/16
Rwanda 3.40 Dec/12
Sierra Leone 3.30 Dec/14
Switzerland 3.30 May/16
Japan 3.20 May/16
Nepal 3.00 Dec/14
Guatemala 2.90 Jun/14
Bhutan 2.60 Dec/15
Panama 2.50 Dec/15
Papua New Guinea 2.50 Dec/14
Cuba 2.40 Dec/15
Liechtenstein 2.40 Dec/15
Tajikistan 2.40 Mar/16
Vietnam 2.31 Dec/15
Kyrgyzstan 2.30 Mar/16
Niger 2.25 Dec/08
Iceland 2.20 May/16
Kuwait 2.20 Dec/15
Macau 1.90 May/16
Singapore 1.90 Mar/16
Guinea 1.70 Dec/13
Laos 1.40 Dec/14
Madagascar 1.20 Dec/12
Thailand 1.04 Apr/16
Belarus 1.00 Dec/15
Benin 1.00 Dec/13
Cambodia 0.50 Dec/15
Qatar 0.20 Dec/15