The US Unemployment Rate measures the percentage of total employees in the United States that are a part of the labor force, but are without a job. It’s one of the most widely followed indicators of the health of the US labor market and the US economy as a whole.
Historically, the US Unemployment Rate reached as high as 10.80% in 1982 and 9.9% in November of 2009, which were recessionary periods.
The US Unemployment Rate is at 8.40%, compared to 10.20% last month and 3.70% this time last year.
US Unemployment Rate remains significantly higher than the long term average of 5.76%.
The US Labor Force Participation Rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is the sum of total number of employed persons and unemployed persons looking for work in the United States as a percentage of the working age population.
US Labor Force Participation Rate is at 61.70%, compared to 61.40% last month and 63.20% this time last year.
Looking at the bigger picture over a longer time frame, there has been a negative trend from the 2000s of 67.10% participation to the 2010s 62.50% participation as the boomer generation has begun shifting out of the working age population.
In bad economic conditions, the labor force participation rate may actually fall as people eventually give up looking for a job.
So, the employment situation seems to be improving, but we’re likely to see some of these job losses become permanent.