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BLS Now Publishing Monthly Data for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and People of Two or More Races

I am pleased to announce that BLS is now publishing monthly labor force estimates for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and people who are of Two or More Races. For several years we have published a small set of annual labor market estimates for these populations in our report on labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity. But we have not published monthly estimates of the unemployment rate, the employment–population ratio, the labor force participation rate, and other key metrics for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and people who are of Two or More Races. With the release of the Employment Situation report on September 2, 2022, we now have monthly data for both groups available back to January 2003.

The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander category is defined as people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. Pacific Islanders are diverse populations with different languages and cultures and include Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian. Two or More Races is defined as people who identify as more than one race. Before 2003, people could identify only one race category as their main race in the Current Population Survey, the source of our data on unemployment and the labor force.

Unemployment

In February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall unemployment rate for the United States was 3.5 percent (seasonally adjusted). The rate was 2.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted) for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and 6.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted) for people who are of Two or More Races.

The jobless rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders peaked at 14.6 percent in November 2020, about 9 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. This was double the seasonally adjusted rate of 6.7 percent for the total population. The unemployment rate for people who are of Two or More Races peaked at 19.3 percent in April 2020, early in the pandemic, compared with 14.7 percent for all groups.

The unemployment rate has declined for all groups since their peaks during the COVID-19 pandemic. By August 2022, the overall unemployment rate for the United States was 3.7 percent. The rate was 3.8 percent for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and 6.2 percent for people who are of Two or More Races.

Unemployment rates for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, Two or More Races, and the total population, January 2003 to August 2022

Editor’s note: Data for this chart are available in the table below.

Employment

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment–population ratio for the United States (the proportion of the population that is employed) was 61.2 percent (seasonally adjusted) in February 2020. The rate was 67.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted) for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and 63.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted) for people who are of Two or More Races.

The ratios for all groups declined sharply at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and have not yet returned to their pre-pandemic levels. In August 2022, the employment–population ratio was 60.1 percent for the United States. The ratio was 65.7 percent for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and 61.3 percent for people who are of Two or More Races.

The employment–population ratio is generally higher for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders than the U.S. average. The greater likelihood of employment among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders reflects the fact that a larger share of this population is in the 25 to 54 age range than the overall population. People in this age range are more likely to be employed than people in younger and older age groups. By contrast, from 2003 to 2016, the employment–population ratio was generally lower for people who are of Two or More Races than the U.S. average. In recent years, the employment–population ratio for people who are of Two or More Races is little different than the national rate.

Employment–population ratios for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, Two or More Races, and the total population, January 2003 to August 2022

Editor’s note: Data for this chart are available in the table below.

Monthly estimates give us timely measures to see how groups are faring in the labor market. However, one must exercise caution when analyzing and interpreting monthly data for small population groups. The measures for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and for people who are of Two or More Races tend to be volatile for two main reasons. First, the estimates are based on small sample sizes. We survey about 60,000 U.S. households every month. People who identify themselves as Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders make up about 0.5 percent of the total labor force. People who identify as having Two or More Races make up about 2.2 percent of the total labor force. Because of their small sample sizes, the month-to-month change in our key economic metrics must be pretty large to be statistically significant. On average, the unemployment rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders must change by nearly 4 percentage points and the rate for people who are of Two or More Races must change by around 2 percentage points for the differences to be meaningful.

Second, these data are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical procedure used to remove the effects of seasonality from data so it is easier to see underlying trends. But not all data series can be seasonally adjusted; they must pass a battery of diagnostic tests to be fitted to a seasonal adjustment model. So far, we haven’t been able to do that for data for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and people who are of Two or More Races, but we’ll keep evaluating them as we get more data. Because these data aren’t seasonally adjusted, it can be challenging to compare one month to the following month.

We’re also publishing quarterly estimates for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders and people who are of Two or More Races for the first time starting this month. Because these estimates are averages of three months of data, they are somewhat less volatile.

Unemployment rates for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, Two or More Races, and the total population, January 2003 to August 2022
MonthTotal (seasonally adjusted)Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (not seasonally adjusted)Two or more races (not seasonally adjusted)

Jan 2003

5.8%4.3%10.1%

Feb 2003

5.97.09.3

Mar 2003

5.96.58.8

Apr 2003

6.09.09.5

May 2003

6.17.79.3

Jun 2003

6.37.29.7

Jul 2003

6.26.89.0

Aug 2003

6.16.68.6

Sep 2003

6.18.69.4

Oct 2003

6.010.78.5

Nov 2003

5.810.39.1

Dec 2003

5.78.77.6

Jan 2004

5.77.48.8

Feb 2004

5.65.810.6

Mar 2004

5.84.28.6

Apr 2004

5.66.38.4

May 2004

5.63.78.8

Jun 2004

5.63.28.2

Jul 2004

5.55.28.0

Aug 2004

5.45.58.2

Sep 2004

5.47.89.2

Oct 2004

5.57.29.2

Nov 2004

5.46.57.5

Dec 2004

5.48.88.7

Jan 2005

5.33.39.0

Feb 2005

5.42.59.0

Mar 2005

5.24.29.2

Apr 2005

5.24.16.6

May 2005

5.15.87.7

Jun 2005

5.03.49.2

Jul 2005

5.05.48.1

Aug 2005

4.95.17.1

Sep 2005

5.05.67.6

Oct 2005

5.05.56.8

Nov 2005

5.04.38.7

Dec 2005

4.93.77.0

Jan 2006

4.77.67.0

Feb 2006

4.84.07.7

Mar 2006

4.75.47.8

Apr 2006

4.76.37.0

May 2006

4.67.56.0

Jun 2006

4.65.75.8

Jul 2006

4.74.46.6

Aug 2006

4.76.87.1

Sep 2006

4.54.96.6

Oct 2006

4.43.16.3

Nov 2006

4.55.16.1

Dec 2006

4.43.46.2

Jan 2007

4.64.07.8

Feb 2007

4.55.06.8

Mar 2007

4.47.38.5

Apr 2007

4.55.17.5

May 2007

4.45.56.4

Jun 2007

4.63.65.5

Jul 2007

4.76.06.9

Aug 2007

4.64.75.4

Sep 2007

4.76.47.2

Oct 2007

4.73.38.0

Nov 2007

4.74.67.4

Dec 2007

5.02.88.4

Jan 2008

5.04.48.6

Feb 2008

4.96.17.7

Mar 2008

5.14.29.6

Apr 2008

5.03.29.9

May 2008

5.44.19.7

Jun 2008

5.66.39.3

Jul 2008

5.86.18.6

Aug 2008

6.19.18.9

Sep 2008

6.19.410.5

Oct 2008

6.57.19.3

Nov 2008

6.87.311.0

Dec 2008

7.38.410.3

Jan 2009

7.87.412.7

Feb 2009

8.36.812.4

Mar 2009

8.713.414.7

Apr 2009

9.010.516.7

May 2009

9.48.914.7

Jun 2009

9.513.915.2

Jul 2009

9.514.611.4

Aug 2009

9.612.813.3

Sep 2009

9.814.413.5

Oct 2009

10.07.712.8

Nov 2009

9.910.112.5

Dec 2009

9.98.712.9

Jan 2010

9.810.914.4

Feb 2010

9.89.212.4

Mar 2010

9.911.314.4

Apr 2010

9.912.314.7

May 2010

9.610.614.9

Jun 2010

9.412.114.9

Jul 2010

9.412.914.9

Aug 2010

9.513.112.8

Sep 2010

9.510.512.9

Oct 2010

9.415.612.8

Nov 2010

9.815.112.2

Dec 2010

9.311.512.6

Jan 2011

9.111.913.1

Feb 2011

9.014.312.4

Mar 2011

9.013.014.7

Apr 2011

9.114.312.0

May 2011

9.09.512.1

Jun 2011

9.18.416.7

Jul 2011

9.06.715.3

Aug 2011

9.09.215.1

Sep 2011

9.09.213.8

Oct 2011

8.810.214.6

Nov 2011

8.69.711.2

Dec 2011

8.59.311.4

Jan 2012

8.39.313.6

Feb 2012

8.311.912.3

Mar 2012

8.210.412.2

Apr 2012

8.210.710.4

May 2012

8.214.711.2

Jun 2012

8.211.910.6

Jul 2012

8.211.512.8

Aug 2012

8.115.311.8

Sep 2012

7.811.810.8

Oct 2012

7.89.911.7

Nov 2012

7.79.713.6

Dec 2012

7.914.511.3

Jan 2013

8.09.512.1

Feb 2013

7.79.911.8

Mar 2013

7.511.811.6

Apr 2013

7.68.210.1

May 2013

7.58.510.2

Jun 2013

7.56.114.2

Jul 2013

7.310.011.3

Aug 2013

7.212.411.2

Sep 2013

7.210.39.7

Oct 2013

7.212.210.4

Nov 2013

6.912.19.5

Dec 2013

6.711.19.5

Jan 2014

6.69.611.2

Feb 2014

6.77.010.8

Mar 2014

6.74.79.9

Apr 2014

6.25.410.2

May 2014

6.34.19.6

Jun 2014

6.16.19.8

Jul 2014

6.27.311.8

Aug 2014

6.15.211.4

Sep 2014

5.95.710.8

Oct 2014

5.74.38.9

Nov 2014

5.87.09.2

Dec 2014

5.66.59.1

Jan 2015

5.77.911.0

Feb 2015

5.56.39.3

Mar 2015

5.42.510.1

Apr 2015

5.46.07.8

May 2015

5.65.69.6

Jun 2015

5.35.57.8

Jul 2015

5.24.18.8

Aug 2015

5.15.38.1

Sep 2015

5.09.18.0

Oct 2015

5.06.97.8

Nov 2015

5.14.56.9

Dec 2015

5.04.66.3

Jan 2016

4.82.08.6

Feb 2016

4.93.09.7

Mar 2016

5.04.29.4

Apr 2016

5.12.78.6

May 2016

4.83.36.9

Jun 2016

4.93.37.0

Jul 2016

4.85.88.0

Aug 2016

4.95.36.9

Sep 2016

5.07.87.3

Oct 2016

4.97.75.7

Nov 2016

4.73.85.7

Dec 2016

4.73.36.1

Jan 2017

4.72.77.4

Feb 2017

4.67.79.5

Mar 2017

4.42.86.6

Apr 2017

4.45.95.0

May 2017

4.43.47.7

Jun 2017

4.36.47.1

Jul 2017

4.311.66.8

Aug 2017

4.49.35.9

Sep 2017

4.37.36.2

Oct 2017

4.25.66.0

Nov 2017

4.25.66.0

Dec 2017

4.14.15.7

Jan 2018

4.04.75.6

Feb 2018

4.15.45.6

Mar 2018

4.09.06.4

Apr 2018

4.03.85.1

May 2018

3.84.56.0

Jun 2018

4.07.47.0

Jul 2018

3.82.96.9

Aug 2018

3.86.65.4

Sep 2018

3.75.65.3

Oct 2018

3.86.24.5

Nov 2018

3.84.44.6

Dec 2018

3.93.04.3

Jan 2019

4.02.35.5

Feb 2019

3.81.15.8

Mar 2019

3.84.16.3

Apr 2019

3.64.45.2

May 2019

3.62.74.9

Jun 2019

3.63.06.9

Jul 2019

3.72.16.1

Aug 2019

3.74.54.5

Sep 2019

3.54.74.9

Oct 2019

3.63.75.1

Nov 2019

3.63.04.9

Dec 2019

3.63.13.5

Jan 2020

3.52.66.3

Feb 2020

3.52.76.1

Mar 2020

4.43.07.3

Apr 2020

14.77.619.3

May 2020

13.210.517.7

Jun 2020

11.010.015.3

Jul 2020

10.211.814.6

Aug 2020

8.412.412.6

Sep 2020

7.914.511.2

Oct 2020

6.912.79.0

Nov 2020

6.714.69.3

Dec 2020

6.75.710.9

Jan 2021

6.410.010.1

Feb 2021

6.28.99.1

Mar 2021

6.07.19.0

Apr 2021

6.011.88.3

May 2021

5.85.68.1

Jun 2021

5.98.99.4

Jul 2021

5.47.29.3

Aug 2021

5.25.17.5

Sep 2021

4.75.98.0

Oct 2021

4.66.16.4

Nov 2021

4.22.77.7

Dec 2021

3.94.55.3

Jan 2022

4.05.26.4

Feb 2022

3.85.66.8

Mar 2022

3.62.96.2

Apr 2022

3.62.84.2

May 2022

3.64.14.4

Jun 2022

3.63.43.9

Jul 2022

3.54.55.6

Aug 2022

3.73.86.2
Employment–population ratios for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, Two or More Races, and the total population, January 2003 to August 2022
MonthTotal (seasonally adjusted)Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (not seasonally adjusted)Two or more races (not seasonally adjusted)

Jan 2003

62.5%66.5%59.8%

Feb 2003

62.563.059.4

Mar 2003

62.461.459.2

Apr 2003

62.459.859.8

May 2003

62.360.261.1

Jun 2003

62.362.162.8

Jul 2003

62.165.462.1

Aug 2003

62.162.862.0

Sep 2003

62.063.763.1

Oct 2003

62.164.963.7

Nov 2003

62.368.462.3

Dec 2003

62.265.761.7

Jan 2004

62.363.160.9

Feb 2004

62.365.858.1

Mar 2004

62.263.059.1

Apr 2004

62.363.460.4

May 2004

62.373.559.9

Jun 2004

62.469.961.9

Jul 2004

62.568.063.5

Aug 2004

62.465.463.1

Sep 2004

62.369.961.8

Oct 2004

62.369.062.4

Nov 2004

62.571.162.5

Dec 2004

62.468.760.8

Jan 2005

62.469.660.2

Feb 2005

62.469.560.5

Mar 2005

62.471.159.9

Apr 2005

62.771.261.6

May 2005

62.868.561.0

Jun 2005

62.769.462.1

Jul 2005

62.869.662.6

Aug 2005

62.967.763.0

Sep 2005

62.871.063.1

Oct 2005

62.867.462.9

Nov 2005

62.774.561.6

Dec 2005

62.872.260.5

Jan 2006

62.969.258.9

Feb 2006

63.070.459.1

Mar 2006

63.161.060.3

Apr 2006

63.063.460.3

May 2006

63.167.562.0

Jun 2006

63.170.664.9

Jul 2006

63.072.563.9

Aug 2006

63.170.162.1

Sep 2006

63.173.262.0

Oct 2006

63.373.961.8

Nov 2006

63.378.262.2

Dec 2006

63.475.160.4

Jan 2007

63.373.058.3

Feb 2007

63.369.461.0

Mar 2007

63.366.559.7

Apr 2007

63.066.759.5

May 2007

63.067.361.5

Jun 2007

63.066.063.1

Jul 2007

62.970.563.9

Aug 2007

62.768.963.5

Sep 2007

62.965.862.9

Oct 2007

62.773.061.9

Nov 2007

62.972.962.5

Dec 2007

62.773.060.9

Jan 2008

62.970.759.4

Feb 2008

62.864.159.2

Mar 2008

62.770.257.8

Apr 2008

62.771.659.1

May 2008

62.572.060.8

Jun 2008

62.465.560.3

Jul 2008

62.266.561.5

Aug 2008

62.065.861.4

Sep 2008

61.963.758.7

Oct 2008

61.767.558.6

Nov 2008

61.468.756.5

Dec 2008

61.068.758.6

Jan 2009

60.667.755.0

Feb 2009

60.365.756.2

Mar 2009

59.964.557.1

Apr 2009

59.863.855.4

May 2009

59.664.256.5

Jun 2009

59.460.256.9

Jul 2009

59.361.358.6

Aug 2009

59.159.557.5

Sep 2009

58.758.356.9

Oct 2009

58.560.657.0

Nov 2009

58.656.556.8

Dec 2009

58.359.956.1

Jan 2010

58.559.156.6

Feb 2010

58.563.857.2

Mar 2010

58.564.054.9

Apr 2010

58.761.255.1

May 2010

58.664.955.3

Jun 2010

58.563.057.2

Jul 2010

58.561.156.7

Aug 2010

58.659.356.6

Sep 2010

58.559.556.8

Oct 2010

58.354.256.9

Nov 2010

58.252.657.8

Dec 2010

58.358.456.6

Jan 2011

58.356.055.7

Feb 2011

58.457.957.0

Mar 2011

58.457.953.4

Apr 2011

58.460.354.3

May 2011

58.363.855.6

Jun 2011

58.265.255.0

Jul 2011

58.267.355.7

Aug 2011

58.364.154.5

Sep 2011

58.464.555.7

Oct 2011

58.460.554.9

Nov 2011

58.666.157.0

Dec 2011

58.663.255.3

Jan 2012

58.463.855.4

Feb 2012

58.566.856.9

Mar 2012

58.566.657.0

Apr 2012

58.464.060.1

May 2012

58.562.458.6

Jun 2012

58.664.458.7

Jul 2012

58.562.158.1

Aug 2012

58.459.658.5

Sep 2012

58.760.757.7

Oct 2012

58.863.558.4

Nov 2012

58.762.355.6

Dec 2012

58.760.055.3

Jan 2013

58.660.156.2

Feb 2013

58.660.956.0

Mar 2013

58.558.655.7

Apr 2013

58.665.555.1

May 2013

58.664.455.9

Jun 2013

58.664.155.6

Jul 2013

58.763.957.6

Aug 2013

58.763.359.3

Sep 2013

58.763.658.0

Oct 2013

58.363.056.2

Nov 2013

58.663.655.7

Dec 2013

58.764.155.2

Jan 2014

58.864.754.8

Feb 2014

58.762.155.7

Mar 2014

58.961.157.8

Apr 2014

58.960.057.4

May 2014

58.962.458.3

Jun 2014

59.062.459.7

Jul 2014

59.065.758.3

Aug 2014

59.064.256.8

Sep 2014

59.161.457.9

Oct 2014

59.366.958.1

Nov 2014

59.265.458.6

Dec 2014

59.366.857.8

Jan 2015

59.364.555.1

Feb 2015

59.263.056.9

Mar 2015

59.266.057.9

Apr 2015

59.364.259.0

May 2015

59.460.058.7

Jun 2015

59.461.459.6

Jul 2015

59.359.860.3

Aug 2015

59.458.660.3

Sep 2015

59.261.258.8

Oct 2015

59.364.760.5

Nov 2015

59.462.760.4

Dec 2015

59.669.260.7

Jan 2016

59.765.859.6

Feb 2016

59.866.257.4

Mar 2016

59.869.058.0

Apr 2016

59.763.858.7

May 2016

59.766.360.9

Jun 2016

59.766.361.7

Jul 2016

59.866.361.6

Aug 2016

59.862.260.7

Sep 2016

59.762.061.0

Oct 2016

59.766.760.5

Nov 2016

59.766.360.3

Dec 2016

59.767.861.6

Jan 2017

59.965.959.6

Feb 2017

60.058.761.0

Mar 2017

60.263.564.9

Apr 2017

60.258.764.1

May 2017

60.163.561.5

Jun 2017

60.164.363.2

Jul 2017

60.260.463.2

Aug 2017

60.161.761.9

Sep 2017

60.463.061.9

Oct 2017

60.165.463.2

Nov 2017

60.167.162.6

Dec 2017

60.163.861.8

Jan 2018

60.263.562.5

Feb 2018

60.463.762.2

Mar 2018

60.463.961.9

Apr 2018

60.464.762.6

May 2018

60.563.662.1

Jun 2018

60.461.763.9

Jul 2018

60.563.663.8

Aug 2018

60.363.963.0

Sep 2018

60.465.362.9

Oct 2018

60.564.663.6

Nov 2018

60.569.462.5

Dec 2018

60.672.064.2

Jan 2019

60.676.062.6

Feb 2019

60.871.162.9

Mar 2019

60.767.461.9

Apr 2019

60.668.462.4

May 2019

60.664.064.2

Jun 2019

60.764.164.4

Jul 2019

60.862.764.8

Aug 2019

60.860.465.2

Sep 2019

60.960.563.8

Oct 2019

60.966.963.3

Nov 2019

61.067.962.6

Dec 2019

61.068.564.5

Jan 2020

61.170.463.3

Feb 2020

61.267.663.7

Mar 2020

59.968.761.4

Apr 2020

51.365.650.4

May 2020

52.863.750.8

Jun 2020

54.763.253.7

Jul 2020

55.258.955.3

Aug 2020

56.555.954.4

Sep 2020

56.646.355.6

Oct 2020

57.450.757.4

Nov 2020

57.456.858.7

Dec 2020

57.464.659.3

Jan 2021

57.562.958.0

Feb 2021

57.662.558.7

Mar 2021

57.861.859.1

Apr 2021

57.960.159.9

May 2021

58.059.060.5

Jun 2021

58.060.161.5

Jul 2021

58.461.859.9

Aug 2021

58.566.559.0

Sep 2021

58.859.359.6

Oct 2021

58.961.459.6

Nov 2021

59.364.561.2

Dec 2021

59.566.763.0

Jan 2022

59.763.459.6

Feb 2022

59.962.260.2

Mar 2022

60.168.160.7

Apr 2022

60.064.363.4

May 2022

60.166.263.7

Jun 2022

59.961.864.5

Jul 2022

60.062.862.2

Aug 2022

60.165.761.3