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

Unemployment rate in the United States rose unexpectedly to 5 percent in March 2016, from 4.9 percent in the previous month and compared with expectations that it would hold steady. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8 million. Still, that is just above the rate that many economists consider to be the structural level in a well-functioning economy. 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
5.00 4.90 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 April of 2016.


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

US Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises to 5%


Unemployment rate in the United States edged up to 5 percent in March 2016, from 4.9 percent in the previous month and compared with expectations that it would hold steady. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (9.0 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed little or no change in March.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million and has shown little movement since June. In March, these individuals accounted for 27.6 percent of the unemployed. 

The labor force participation rate (63.0 percent) and the employment-population ratio (59.9 percent) changed little. Both measures were up by 0.6 percentage point since September. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in March at 6.1 million and has shown 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. 

There were 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 335,000 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 585,000 discouraged workers in March, down by 153,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
4/1/2016 1:45:57 PM

United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 5.00 4.90 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 215.00 242.00 1115.00 -1967.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 195.00 230.00 1089.00 -814.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 20.00 12.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls -29.00 -16.00 572.00 -519.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 257.00 247.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 2130.00 2135.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 200.00 205.00 357.00 -881.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 151320.00 151074.00 151320.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 7966.00 7815.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.30 -0.10 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.40 34.40 34.70 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 63.00 62.90 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 1.36 1.31 2.80 1.30 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 10.40 10.50 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Productivity 106.00 106.59 106.59 27.57 Index Points [+]
Labour Costs 108.76 107.87 108.76 17.12 Index Points [+]
Job Vacancies 5291.00 5621.00 6197.00 2132.00 Thousand [+]
Job Offers 5445.00 5349.00 5668.00 2146.00 Thousands [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 48207.00 105696.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 21.37 21.33 21.37 2.50 USD/Hour [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 20.33 20.20 20.33 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 4.70 4.34 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 -2.10 -2.50 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 [+]
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 [+]
Part Time Employment 27818.00 27853.00 28134.00 10086.00 Thousand [+]
Full Time Employment 123447.00 123206.00 123447.00 64640.00 Thousand [+]
Employment Rate 59.90 59.80 64.70 55.00 percent [+]




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Haiti 40.60 Dec/10
Afghanistan 40.00 Dec/15
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Kosovo 35.30 Dec/14
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Eritrea 14.50 Dec/84
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New Caledonia 13.80 Dec/09
Jordan 13.60 Dec/15
Sao Tome and Principe 13.60 Dec/12
Senegal 13.40 Dec/15
Zambia 13.30 Dec/14
Jamaica 13.10 Sep/15
Mauritania 12.85 Dec/14
Egypt 12.77 Dec/15
Slovenia 12.60 Feb/16
Georgia 12.40 Dec/14
Portugal 12.20 Dec/15
Cyprus 12.10 Mar/16
South Sudan 12.00 Dec/08
Iran 11.80 Mar/16
Puerto Rico 11.80 Mar/16
Maldives 11.60 Dec/14
Italy 11.40 Mar/16
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Algeria 11.20 Sep/15
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Brazil 10.90 Mar/16
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France 10.30 Dec/15
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Euro Area 10.20 Mar/16
Colombia 10.10 Mar/16
Finland 10.10 Mar/16
Poland 10.00 Mar/16
Slovakia 9.90 Mar/16
Ukraine 9.90 Dec/15
Bulgaria 9.88 Mar/16
Latvia 9.80 Dec/15
Costa Rica 9.60 Dec/15
Morocco 9.50 Dec/15
Austria 9.40 Mar/16
Lithuania 8.90 Mar/16
Suriname 8.90 Dec/14
European Union 8.80 Mar/16
Ireland 8.60 Mar/16
Belgium 8.50 Mar/16
Mongolia 8.30 Dec/15
Mali 8.20 Dec/14
Uruguay 8.00 Feb/16
Fiji 7.90 Dec/14
Mauritius 7.90 Dec/15
Chad 7.80 Dec/12
Burundi 7.70 Dec/12
Sweden 7.70 Mar/16
Central African Republic 7.60 Dec/12
Bolivia 7.40 Dec/13
Peru 7.20 Mar/16
Canada 7.10 Mar/16
Comoros 7.00 Dec/12
El Salvador 7.00 Dec/14
Brunei 6.90 Dec/14
Togo 6.90 Dec/13
Nicaragua 6.80 Dec/14
Burkina Faso 6.60 Dec/14
Malawi 6.60 Dec/13
Luxembourg 6.50 Mar/16
Estonia 6.40 Dec/15
Lebanon 6.40 Dec/14
Netherlands 6.40 Mar/16
Romania 6.40 Mar/16
Chile 6.30 Mar/16
Indonesia 6.18 Sep/15
Czech Republic 6.10 Mar/16
Hungary 6.00 Mar/16
Russia 6.00 Mar/16
Venezuela 6.00 Dec/15
Argentina 5.90 Sep/15
Pakistan 5.90 Dec/15
Paraguay 5.80 Dec/15
Philippines 5.80 Mar/16
Australia 5.70 Mar/16
Ecuador 5.65 Dec/15
Cayman Islands 5.60 Dec/15
Saudi Arabia 5.60 Dec/15
Israel 5.30 Mar/16
Ivory Coast 5.30 Dec/13
New Zealand 5.30 Dec/15
Ghana 5.20 Dec/13
Malta 5.20 Dec/15
Kazakhstan 5.10 Feb/16
United Kingdom 5.10 Feb/16
Azerbaijan 5.00 Dec/13
United States 5.00 Mar/16
India 4.90 Dec/13
Seychelles 4.70 Dec/14
Norway 4.60 Feb/16
Bangladesh 4.30 Dec/14
Honduras 4.30 Dec/13
Sri Lanka 4.30 Dec/15
Denmark 4.20 Mar/16
Germany 4.20 Mar/16
Moldova 4.20 Dec/15
United Arab Emirates 4.20 Dec/12
North Korea 4.10 Dec/14
China 4.05 Dec/15
Myanmar 4.02 Dec/13
Cameroon 4.00 Dec/13
Taiwan 3.92 Mar/16
Guinea 3.80 Dec/12
Liberia 3.80 Dec/14
South Korea 3.80 Mar/16
Uganda 3.80 Dec/13
Bahrain 3.70 Dec/12
Mexico 3.70 Mar/16
Switzerland 3.60 Mar/16
Kuwait 3.50 Dec/13
Hong Kong 3.40 Mar/16
Malaysia 3.40 Feb/16
Rwanda 3.40 Dec/12
Trinidad and Tobago 3.40 Sep/15
Iceland 3.30 Mar/16
Sierra Leone 3.30 Dec/14
Japan 3.20 Mar/16
Guatemala 2.90 Jun/14
Cuba 2.70 Dec/14
Nepal 2.70 Dec/13
Bhutan 2.60 Dec/15
Panama 2.50 Dec/15
Papua New Guinea 2.50 Dec/14
Liechtenstein 2.40 Dec/15
Tajikistan 2.40 Feb/16
Vietnam 2.31 Dec/15
Niger 2.25 Dec/08
Kyrgyzstan 2.20 Nov/15
Macau 1.90 Mar/16
Singapore 1.90 Mar/16
Guinea Bissau 1.80 Dec/10
Laos 1.40 Dec/14
Madagascar 1.20 Dec/12
Thailand 1.04 Mar/16
Belarus 1.00 Dec/15
Benin 1.00 Dec/13
Cambodia 0.30 Dec/13
Qatar 0.20 Dec/14