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

Unemployment Rate in the United States decreased to 5.40 percent in April of 2015 from 5.50 percent in March 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
5.40 5.50 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 Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2015-03-06 01:30 PM Feb 5.5% 5.7% 5.6% 5.7%
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 5.4% 5.58%
2015-07-02 01:30 PM Jun 5.6%
2015-08-07 01:30 PM Jul 5.54%


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.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 241,000  to 2.7 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, accounting for 29.0 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 888,000. 

In April, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) changed little. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. The employment-population ratio held at 59.3 percent in April and has been at this level since January. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.6 million in April, but is down by 880,000 from a year earlier. 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 April, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed over the year. (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 756,000 discouraged workers in April, little different 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 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively. 

BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
5/8/2015 1:57:33 PM


Recent Releases

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


United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 5.40 5.50 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 223.00 85.00 1114.00 -1966.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 10.00 -9.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 213.00 94.00 1089.00 -819.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls 1.00 0.00 572.00 -519.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 274.00 262.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 2211.00 2229.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 169.00 175.00 343.00 -826.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 148523.00 148331.00 148523.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 8549.00 8575.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Job Vacancies 4921.00 4910.00 5594.00 2132.00 Thousand [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 1.60 1.63 2.80 1.60 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 11.60 12.30 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Productivity 105.90 106.41 106.98 27.55 Index Points [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.10 0.20 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.50 34.50 34.70 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 62.80 62.70 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 61582.00 36594.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 10.54 10.54 10.55 9.88 USD/Hour [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 19.78 19.76 19.78 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Labour Costs 106.21 104.91 106.21 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 4994.00 5144.00 5273.00 2146.00 Hundreds [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 3.84 4.46 13.77 -5.77 percent [+]


Unemployment Rate Reference Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Australia 6.20 Apr/15 6.10 10.90 4.00 percent [+]
Brazil 6.40 Apr/15 6.20 13.10 4.30 percent [+]
Canada 6.80 Apr/15 6.80 13.10 2.90 percent [+]
China 4.10 Mar/15 4.10 4.30 3.90 percent [+]
Euro Area 11.30 Mar/15 11.30 12.00 7.20 percent [+]
France 10.40 Nov/14 10.30 10.80 7.20 percent [+]
Germany 4.70 Mar/15 4.70 14.20 0.40 percent [+]
India 4.90 Dec/13 5.20 9.40 4.90 percent [+]
Indonesia 5.94 Aug/14 5.70 11.24 2.00 percent [+]
Italy 13.00 Mar/15 12.70 13.20 5.90 percent [+]
Japan 3.40 Mar/15 3.50 5.60 1.00 percent [+]
Mexico 3.86 Mar/15 4.33 5.93 2.22 percent [+]
Netherlands 7.00 Apr/15 7.00 7.90 3.60 percent [+]
Russia 5.80 Apr/15 5.90 14.10 4.80 percent [+]
South Korea 3.70 Apr/15 3.70 7.10 2.90 percent [+]
Spain 23.78 Feb/15 23.70 26.94 4.41 percent [+]
Switzerland 3.30 Apr/15 3.40 5.40 1.60 percent [+]
Turkey 11.20 Feb/15 11.30 14.80 7.30 percent [+]
United Kingdom 5.50 Mar/15 5.60 12.00 3.40 percent [+]
United States 5.40 Apr/15 5.50 10.80 2.50 percent [+]