United States Unemployment Rate 1948-2015 | Data | Chart | Calendar

Unemployment Rate in the United States increased to 5.50 percent in May of 2015 from 5.40 percent in April of 2015. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.83 percent from 1948 until 2015, 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.

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United States Unemployment Rate
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Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5.50 5.40 10.80 2.50 1948 - 2015 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 - United States Unemployment Rate - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Content for - United States Unemployment Rate - was last refreshed on Thursday, July 2, 2015.

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2015-04-03 01:30 PM Mar 5.5% 5.5% 5.5% 5.6%
2015-05-08 01:30 PM Apr 5.4% 5.5% 5.4% 5.5%
2015-06-05 01:30 PM May 5.5% 5.4% 5.4% 5.4%
2015-07-02 01:30 PM Jun 5.5% 5.4% 5.5%
2015-08-07 01:30 PM Jul 5.4%
2015-09-04 01:30 PM Aug 5.4%


US Unemployment Rate Up to 5.5%


The jobless rate increased for the first time in four months to 5.5 percent in May from 5.4 percent in April as more people joined the labour force.

There were 8.7 million unemployed persons in May, slightly up from 8.5 million in April. Yet, the number of unemployed new entrants edged up by 103,000 in May but is about unchanged over the year. Unemployed new entrants are those who never previously worked.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks decreased by 311,000 to 2.4 million in May, following an increase in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) held at 2.5 million in May and accounted for 28.6 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 849,000. 

In May, the civilian labor force rose by 397,000, and the labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.9 percent. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was essentially unchanged in May. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged at6.7 million in May and has shown little movement in recent months. 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, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 268,000 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 563,000 discouraged workers in May, down by 134,000 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 1.3 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 Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/5/2015 1:42:36 PM


Recent Releases

US Unemployment Rate Lowest Since May 2008
The jobless rate fell to 5.4 percent in April from 5.5 percent in the previous two months and the number of unemployed persons edged down to 8.5 million.
Published on 2015-05-08

US Unemployment Rate Steady at 5.5%
The jobless rate held at 5.5 percent in March, the same as in February and the lowest in nearly 7 years. The number of unemployed persons was little changed at 8.6 million.
Published on 2015-04-03

US Unemployment Rate Down to Nearly 7-Year Low
The jobless rate decreased to 5.5 percent in February from 5.7 percent in the previous month. It is the lowest figure since May of 2008 as the number of unemployed persons went down.
Published on 2015-03-06

US Unemployment Rate Edges Up to 5.7%
US jobless rate increased to 5.7 percent in January of 2015 from 5.6 percent in the previous month as more unemployed started looking for work.
Published on 2015-02-06


United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 5.50 5.40 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 280.00 221.00 1114.00 -1966.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 18.00 15.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 262.00 206.00 1089.00 -819.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls 7.00 1.00 572.00 -519.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 271.00 277.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 2247.00 2272.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 237.00 203.00 343.00 -826.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 148795.00 148523.00 148795.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 8674.00 8549.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Job Vacancies 5851.00 5048.00 5851.00 2132.00 Thousand [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 1.59 1.61 2.80 1.59 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 12.20 11.60 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Productivity 105.57 106.41 106.98 27.55 Index Points [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.30 0.10 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.50 34.50 34.70 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 62.90 62.80 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 44842.00 41034.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 10.53 10.54 10.55 9.88 USD/Hour [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 19.80 19.81 19.81 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Labour Costs 107.00 104.91 107.00 17.12 Index Points [+]
Population 318.86 316.50 318.86 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 [+]
Job Offers 5376.00 5109.00 5376.00 2146.00 Hundreds [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 4.55 4.10 13.77 -5.77 percent [+]


Unemployment Rate Reference Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Australia 6.00 May/15 6.10 10.90 4.00 percent [+]
Brazil 6.70 May/15 6.40 13.10 4.30 percent [+]
Canada 6.80 May/15 6.80 13.10 2.90 percent [+]
China 4.10 Mar/15 4.10 4.30 3.90 percent [+]
Euro Area 11.10 May/15 11.10 12.10 7.20 percent [+]
France 10.30 Mar/15 10.40 10.80 7.20 percent [+]
Germany 4.70 May/15 4.70 14.20 0.40 percent [+]
India 4.90 Dec/13 5.20 9.40 4.90 percent [+]
Indonesia 5.81 Mar/15 5.94 11.24 2.00 percent [+]
Italy 12.40 May/15 12.40 13.20 5.90 percent [+]
Japan 3.30 May/15 3.30 5.60 1.00 percent [+]
Mexico 4.45 May/15 4.31 5.93 2.22 percent [+]
Netherlands 6.90 May/15 7.00 7.90 3.60 percent [+]
Russia 5.60 May/15 5.80 14.10 4.80 percent [+]
South Korea 3.90 May/15 3.70 7.10 2.90 percent [+]
Spain 23.78 Mar/15 23.70 26.94 4.41 percent [+]
Switzerland 3.20 May/15 3.30 5.40 1.60 percent [+]
Turkey 10.60 Mar/15 11.20 14.80 7.30 percent [+]
United Kingdom 5.50 Apr/15 5.50 12.00 3.40 percent [+]
United States 5.50 May/15 5.40 10.80 2.50 percent [+]