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All posts by BLS Commissioner

Improving Key Labor Market Estimates during the Pandemic and Beyond

If things were good enough yesterday, why would we change them today? Good enough is OK for folding laundry, cleaning the junk drawer, and raking leaves, but not for official statistics from BLS. We do our best to provide a timely look at the labor market and economy, but we often learn more after we publish those initial data. As a result, we sometimes revise our statistics. That’s mostly a good thing, but there is a fine line between the frequency of revisions and introducing noise and possibly confusion.

I recently wrote about the importance of maintaining and sometimes changing official historical records, using baseball as an example. Today I want to highlight two of our statistical programs: the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data. We publish monthly statistics from these programs and revise them the following month as more information comes in. In addition to the monthly revisions, we incorporate more information once a year.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a huge impact on our lives. Check out our summary of how the pandemic affected the labor market and economy in 2020. The magnitude of the labor market changes stress tested the JOLTS and LAUS programs. Based on what we observed in real time, and what we know now, we realized we needed to respond to this unusual economic environment. We change our estimating techniques infrequently, but even the best techniques need adjustments to respond to such significant shocks. These adjustments reflect our commitment to continuous improvement.

Changes in Job Openings and Labor Turnover Estimates

The economic conditions caused by the pandemic led us to make two changes to JOLTS procedures. First, we changed the way we handled unusual reports, which we call outliers. In normal times, these outliers may be businesses with unusually large numbers of job separations. This process mutes the outlier impact on the estimates because those outliers are unlikely to represent other businesses. At the start of the pandemic, however, very large increases in separations were followed by very large increases in hires in many businesses. During this period, we adjusted the JOLTS outlier-detection techniques to accept as normal those extreme changes. Under these circumstances, these “outlier” reports did in fact represent many other businesses.

Second, JOLTS uses data from the much larger Current Employment Statistics (CES) sample to adjust estimates of hires and separations to stay in sync with the monthly employment changes. This procedure assumes that, over the long term, the difference between JOLTS hires and separations is close to the CES employment change. This assumption, however, was not appropriate in late March 2020 as people, businesses, and governments tried to contain the spread of COVID-19. The two surveys have different reference periods. The CES reference period is the pay period that includes the 12th of the month, whereas JOLTS estimates of hires and separations cover the entire month. Hires and separations during the latter half of March 2020 were not included in the CES employment change for March but were included in the JOLTS estimates for the month. To accurately capture the timing of this unprecedented event, we stopped aligning the JOLTS estimates of hires and separations with the CES employment change from March through November 2020.

More changes to JOLTS estimates came with the publication of the January 2021 news release. As we do every year, we revised the past 5 years of historical JOLTS data using updated CES employment estimates. We also updated the seasonal adjustment factors and applied them over the past 5 years. In addition, because we stopped using the alignment procedure for most of 2020, the difference between CES and JOLTS estimates had become quite large by December. To preserve the true economic differences between CES and JOLTS but reduce the divergence by the end of 2020, we adjusted estimates of hires and separations for the months in which the alignment procedure was turned off. These adjustments ensure that we report the highest quality data as quickly as we can, while improving accuracy as we learn more information.

Changes in State Labor Force and Unemployment Estimates

We also made real-time changes during the pandemic to the models we use to produce state labor force and unemployment estimates. The primary inputs to the models are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the source of the monthly national unemployment rate and other labor market measures. Because the CPS sample is not large enough to support state estimates on a monthly basis, we also use CES employment data and counts of continued claims for unemployment insurance to help inform the models. All of these model inputs experienced extreme movements, especially in the early part of the pandemic.

Starting with March 2020, we introduced two monthly adjustments we usually perform only once a year. These adjustments involved closer review and adjustment of outliers from all model inputs and level shifts. We discussed these changes in notes that appeared in the State Employment and Unemployment news releases for March 2020, April 2020, and May 2020.

These changes in 2020 provided a short-term solution for the state models. For the longer term, we respecified the relationships of the model inputs to provide more flexibility when unusual disruptions occur in the labor market. We explain these changes in our “Questions and Answers.”

We implemented the new estimation procedures for model-based areas in early 2021. They were reflected in the estimates published in the Regional and State Unemployment – 2020 Annual Averages news release. We replaced all previously published state data using the new procedures to ensure historically comparable estimates. The recent data revisions also reflect the best available inputs for model estimation. If you are interested in the details, you can read all about them at the LAUS Estimation Methodology page.

The speed with which the JOLTS and LAUS staff researched and implemented these improvements reflects the high quality of the BLS staff and their commitment to producing gold standard data. They make me proud to lead this great agency.

Celebrating Women’s History Month with a Look at Women in the Labor Force

Happy Women’s History Month!

Here at BLS, we have a lot to say about women’s history—especially women’s labor market history since the 1940s, when our Current Population Survey (CPS) began collecting monthly data from thousands of American households. This survey tells us a great deal about how the employment characteristics of American women have changed since 1948, the first year for which we have comparable data. We can also examine women’s employment and unemployment over the past year, when the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many parts of our lives.

Many more women are in the labor force nowadays than back in 1948. In 1948, 33 percent of women age 16 and older were in the labor force—that is, they were either working or looking for work. As of February 2021, 56 percent of women were in the labor force. As a result of this large increase in the number of working women, the share of the labor force made up of women grew from 29 percent in 1948 to 47 percent in 2020.

Women's and men's shares of the civilian labor force, 1948 to 2021

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

Another major change in women’s lives is educational attainment. As more women have chosen to spend much of their adult lives participating in the labor market, they have increasingly invested in education that prepares them for these careers. Women and men today have more education than people did several decades ago, but the increase has been much greater for women than for men. Since 1970, the proportion of women ages 25 to 64 in the labor force who held a college degree quadrupled. The proportion of men with a college degree about doubled over that time. This measure reached 45 percent for women in 2019 (compared with 38 percent for men). There are still fewer women than men in the labor force in this age group. However, there are now more women than men with college degrees in the labor force.

Percent of women and men ages 25 to 64 in the labor force who have a bachelor's degree and higher, 1970 to 2019

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

The CPS is probably most famous for measuring the unemployment rate—the number of unemployed (those who are not working and actively seeking a job) as a percent of the labor force. Since the 1980s, unemployment rates in recessions have typically been lower for women than for men. That is because the industries and occupations in which women tend to work have generally been less affected by economic downturns. However, the downturn in 2020 has been different in this and other ways. This recession had a large impact on service-sector jobs that are disproportionately held by women. As a result, the unemployment rate was higher for women than for men from April through September 2020.

Unemployment rates of women and men, 1948 to 2021, seasonally adjusted

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

In April 2020, the unemployment rate reached its all-time high. The rate for women was 16.1 percent, higher than the rate of 13.6 percent for men. By February 2021, however, the rates for women (6.1 percent) and men (6.3 percent) were similar.

Unemployment rates of women and men, January 2020 to February 2021, seasonally adjusted

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

Another statistic often used to gauge the impact of the recession on the labor market is the employment–population ratio. This ratio represents the number of employed people as a percentage of the population age 16 and older. Between February and April 2020, the employment–population ratio fell sharply for women, 10.0 percentage points, compared with 9.6 percentage points for men. Employment dropped by 13.4 million for women, compared with 12.0 million for men.

Employment–population ratios of women and men, 2006–21, seasonally adjusted

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

Some of the decline in employment for women may be due to family responsibilities, which have changed during the pandemic as schools and childcare centers closed or reduced capacities. We see that the labor force participation of mothers whose youngest child was ages 6 to 17 fell by 4.1 percentage points from February to April 2020 and has recovered only 1.1 percentage points since then. For fathers whose youngest child was ages 6 to 17, labor force participation fell by 1.8 percentage points from February to April 2020 and has recovered 0.8 percentage points since then.

Labor force participation rates of parents, January 2020 to February 2021

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

Another way this pandemic recession has differed from previous recessions has been the enormous increase in telework. Starting in May 2020, the CPS added a new question, “At any time in the last 4 weeks, did you telework or work at home for pay because of the coronavirus?” In May 2020, 41 percent of employed women teleworked due to the pandemic, compared with 31 percent of employed men. The share of people reporting that they had teleworked due to the pandemic declined during the summer of 2020 but has been fairly steady since then. Throughout the period, a greater share of employed women have reported teleworking due to the pandemic than men.

Percent of employed people who teleworked at some point in the last 4 weeks because of the COVID–19 pandemic, May 2020 to February 2021

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

We do not yet know how much of this increase in telework will become permanent, but we know that whatever happens to women in the labor force in the future, we at BLS will do our best to measure it! Check out even more statistics we have on women in the labor force.

Women’s and men’s shares of the civilian labor force
MonthWomenMen

Jan 1948

28.171.9

Feb 1948

28.371.7

Mar 1948

28.371.7

Apr 1948

28.871.2

May 1948

28.371.7

Jun 1948

29.071.0

Jul 1948

29.071.0

Aug 1948

28.671.4

Sep 1948

28.971.1

Oct 1948

28.471.6

Nov 1948

28.671.4

Dec 1948

28.871.2

Jan 1949

28.771.3

Feb 1949

28.971.1

Mar 1949

28.971.1

Apr 1949

28.871.2

May 1949

29.071.0

Jun 1949

28.871.2

Jul 1949

29.370.7

Aug 1949

29.270.8

Sep 1949

29.170.9

Oct 1949

29.170.9

Nov 1949

29.370.7

Dec 1949

29.270.8

Jan 1950

29.270.8

Feb 1950

29.370.7

Mar 1950

29.270.8

Apr 1950

29.570.5

May 1950

29.370.7

Jun 1950

29.770.3

Jul 1950

29.470.6

Aug 1950

29.670.4

Sep 1950

29.470.6

Oct 1950

29.970.1

Nov 1950

30.169.9

Dec 1950

30.169.9

Jan 1951

30.369.7

Feb 1951

30.269.8

Mar 1951

30.669.4

Apr 1951

30.569.5

May 1951

30.669.4

Jun 1951

30.469.6

Jul 1951

31.168.9

Aug 1951

30.869.2

Sep 1951

30.769.3

Oct 1951

30.869.2

Nov 1951

30.869.2

Dec 1951

31.069.0

Jan 1952

31.069.0

Feb 1952

30.969.1

Mar 1952

30.669.4

Apr 1952

30.869.2

May 1952

31.069.0

Jun 1952

31.069.0

Jul 1952

30.869.2

Aug 1952

31.069.0

Sep 1952

31.568.5

Oct 1952

31.168.9

Nov 1952

31.668.4

Dec 1952

31.168.9

Jan 1953

31.069.0

Feb 1953

30.869.2

Mar 1953

31.069.0

Apr 1953

30.869.2

May 1953

30.569.5

Jun 1953

31.069.0

Jul 1953

30.969.1

Aug 1953

30.769.3

Sep 1953

30.869.2

Oct 1953

30.969.1

Nov 1953

30.469.6

Dec 1953

30.369.7

Jan 1954

30.569.5

Feb 1954

31.069.0

Mar 1954

31.368.7

Apr 1954

31.168.9

May 1954

30.969.1

Jun 1954

30.969.1

Jul 1954

30.769.3

Aug 1954

30.669.4

Sep 1954

31.069.0

Oct 1954

31.168.9

Nov 1954

31.069.0

Dec 1954

30.869.2

Jan 1955

31.168.9

Feb 1955

31.069.0

Mar 1955

31.069.0

Apr 1955

31.468.6

May 1955

31.268.8

Jun 1955

31.468.6

Jul 1955

31.768.3

Aug 1955

32.068.0

Sep 1955

31.968.1

Oct 1955

31.968.1

Nov 1955

32.068.0

Dec 1955

32.267.8

Jan 1956

32.068.0

Feb 1956

31.868.2

Mar 1956

31.968.1

Apr 1956

32.167.9

May 1956

32.367.7

Jun 1956

32.367.7

Jul 1956

32.467.6

Aug 1956

32.467.6

Sep 1956

32.567.5

Oct 1956

32.467.6

Nov 1956

32.467.6

Dec 1956

32.467.6

Jan 1957

32.367.7

Feb 1957

32.567.5

Mar 1957

32.467.6

Apr 1957

32.267.8

May 1957

32.367.7

Jun 1957

32.367.7

Jul 1957

32.667.4

Aug 1957

32.467.6

Sep 1957

32.667.4

Oct 1957

32.667.4

Nov 1957

32.667.4

Dec 1957

32.767.3

Jan 1958

32.667.4

Feb 1958

32.767.3

Mar 1958

32.767.3

Apr 1958

32.867.2

May 1958

32.867.2

Jun 1958

32.767.3

Jul 1958

32.667.4

Aug 1958

32.767.3

Sep 1958

32.667.4

Oct 1958

32.667.4

Nov 1958

32.667.4

Dec 1958

32.767.3

Jan 1959

32.967.1

Feb 1959

32.767.3

Mar 1959

32.967.1

Apr 1959

32.967.1

May 1959

32.967.1

Jun 1959

33.067.0

Jul 1959

32.867.2

Aug 1959

32.967.1

Sep 1959

32.767.3

Oct 1959

33.067.0

Nov 1959

32.967.1

Dec 1959

33.067.0

Jan 1960

32.967.1

Feb 1960

33.067.0

Mar 1960

32.867.2

Apr 1960

33.366.7

May 1960

33.566.5

Jun 1960

33.766.3

Jul 1960

33.666.4

Aug 1960

33.566.5

Sep 1960

33.666.4

Oct 1960

33.466.6

Nov 1960

33.666.4

Dec 1960

33.766.3

Jan 1961

33.766.3

Feb 1961

34.066.0

Mar 1961

34.165.9

Apr 1961

33.866.2

May 1961

33.766.3

Jun 1961

34.066.0

Jul 1961

33.866.2

Aug 1961

33.766.3

Sep 1961

33.666.4

Oct 1961

33.866.2

Nov 1961

33.866.2

Dec 1961

33.766.3

Jan 1962

34.066.0

Feb 1962

34.066.0

Mar 1962

33.966.1

Apr 1962

33.966.1

May 1962

33.866.2

Jun 1962

33.966.1

Jul 1962

34.066.0

Aug 1962

34.265.8

Sep 1962

34.265.8

Oct 1962

34.165.9

Nov 1962

34.066.0

Dec 1962

34.165.9

Jan 1963

34.265.8

Feb 1963

34.365.7

Mar 1963

34.365.7

Apr 1963

34.465.6

May 1963

34.565.5

Jun 1963

34.365.7

Jul 1963

34.465.6

Aug 1963

34.365.7

Sep 1963

34.465.6

Oct 1963

34.665.4

Nov 1963

34.565.5

Dec 1963

34.565.5

Jan 1964

34.665.4

Feb 1964

34.865.2

Mar 1964

34.865.2

Apr 1964

35.065.0

May 1964

34.965.1

Jun 1964

34.965.1

Jul 1964

34.665.4

Aug 1964

34.865.2

Sep 1964

34.665.4

Oct 1964

34.765.3

Nov 1964

34.765.3

Dec 1964

34.965.1

Jan 1965

34.965.1

Feb 1965

34.965.1

Mar 1965

35.065.0

Apr 1965

35.065.0

May 1965

34.965.1

Jun 1965

35.364.7

Jul 1965

35.364.7

Aug 1965

35.264.8

Sep 1965

35.364.7

Oct 1965

35.464.6

Nov 1965

35.564.5

Dec 1965

35.664.4

Jan 1966

35.764.3

Feb 1966

35.664.4

Mar 1966

35.664.4

Apr 1966

35.764.3

May 1966

35.964.1

Jun 1966

35.964.1

Jul 1966

36.064.0

Aug 1966

36.263.8

Sep 1966

36.463.6

Oct 1966

36.463.6

Nov 1966

36.663.4

Dec 1966

36.663.4

Jan 1967

36.463.6

Feb 1967

36.463.6

Mar 1967

36.463.6

Apr 1967

36.663.4

May 1967

36.563.5

Jun 1967

36.563.5

Jul 1967

36.663.4

Aug 1967

36.663.4

Sep 1967

36.963.1

Oct 1967

37.063.0

Nov 1967

37.063.0

Dec 1967

37.162.9

Jan 1968

36.863.2

Feb 1968

36.963.1

Mar 1968

37.063.0

Apr 1968

37.063.0

May 1968

37.362.7

Jun 1968

37.262.8

Jul 1968

37.162.9

Aug 1968

36.963.1

Sep 1968

37.262.8

Oct 1968

37.262.8

Nov 1968

37.362.7

Dec 1968

37.262.8

Jan 1969

37.362.7

Feb 1969

37.562.5

Mar 1969

37.562.5

Apr 1969

37.762.3

May 1969

37.762.3

Jun 1969

37.962.1

Jul 1969

37.962.1

Aug 1969

37.962.1

Sep 1969

37.962.1

Oct 1969

38.161.9

Nov 1969

38.062.0

Dec 1969

38.161.9

Jan 1970

38.161.9

Feb 1970

38.062.0

Mar 1970

38.161.9

Apr 1970

38.261.8

May 1970

37.962.1

Jun 1970

38.062.0

Jul 1970

38.261.8

Aug 1970

38.261.8

Sep 1970

38.062.0

Oct 1970

38.361.7

Nov 1970

38.261.8

Dec 1970

38.161.9

Jan 1971

38.361.7

Feb 1971

38.261.8

Mar 1971

38.261.8

Apr 1971

38.161.9

May 1971

38.062.0

Jun 1971

38.062.0

Jul 1971

37.962.1

Aug 1971

38.161.9

Sep 1971

38.261.8

Oct 1971

38.361.7

Nov 1971

38.461.6

Dec 1971

38.461.6

Jan 1972

38.561.5

Feb 1972

38.461.6

Mar 1972

38.561.5

Apr 1972

38.561.5

May 1972

38.561.5

Jun 1972

38.461.6

Jul 1972

38.561.5

Aug 1972

38.561.5

Sep 1972

38.561.5

Oct 1972

38.561.5

Nov 1972

38.561.5

Dec 1972

38.561.5

Jan 1973

38.561.5

Feb 1973

38.761.3

Mar 1973

38.761.3

Apr 1973

38.861.2

May 1973

38.961.1

Jun 1973

39.061.0

Jul 1973

38.961.1

Aug 1973

39.061.0

Sep 1973

39.160.9

Oct 1973

39.160.9

Nov 1973

39.260.8

Dec 1973

39.160.9

Jan 1974

38.961.1

Feb 1974

39.160.9

Mar 1974

39.260.8

Apr 1974

39.360.7

May 1974

39.360.7

Jun 1974

39.460.6

Jul 1974

39.760.3

Aug 1974

39.560.5

Sep 1974

39.660.4

Oct 1974

39.560.5

Nov 1974

39.560.5

Dec 1974

39.660.4

Jan 1975

39.860.2

Feb 1975

39.760.3

Mar 1975

39.860.2

Apr 1975

39.960.1

May 1975

39.960.1

Jun 1975

39.960.1

Jul 1975

39.960.1

Aug 1975

40.060.0

Sep 1975

40.060.0

Oct 1975

40.159.9

Nov 1975

40.159.9

Dec 1975

40.359.7

Jan 1976

40.459.6

Feb 1976

40.459.6

Mar 1976

40.459.6

Apr 1976

40.459.6

May 1976

40.559.5

Jun 1976

40.659.4

Jul 1976

40.759.3

Aug 1976

40.759.3

Sep 1976

40.659.4

Oct 1976

40.559.5

Nov 1976

40.759.3

Dec 1976

40.759.3

Jan 1977

40.759.3

Feb 1977

40.859.2

Mar 1977

41.059.0

Apr 1977

41.059.0

May 1977

41.059.0

Jun 1977

41.059.0

Jul 1977

41.059.0

Aug 1977

41.158.9

Sep 1977

41.358.7

Oct 1977

41.059.0

Nov 1977

41.258.8

Dec 1977

41.258.8

Jan 1978

41.358.7

Feb 1978

41.358.7

Mar 1978

41.558.5

Apr 1978

41.658.4

May 1978

41.758.3

Jun 1978

41.758.3

Jul 1978

41.858.2

Aug 1978

41.758.3

Sep 1978

42.058.0

Oct 1978

41.958.1

Nov 1978

41.958.1

Dec 1978

41.958.1

Jan 1979

41.858.2

Feb 1979

41.958.1

Mar 1979

42.157.9

Apr 1979

42.058.0

May 1979

42.157.9

Jun 1979

42.058.0

Jul 1979

42.157.9

Aug 1979

42.257.8

Sep 1979

42.257.8

Oct 1979

42.457.6

Nov 1979

42.457.6

Dec 1979

42.557.5

Jan 1980

42.557.5

Feb 1980

42.457.6

Mar 1980

42.457.6

Apr 1980

42.557.5

May 1980

42.457.6

Jun 1980

42.557.5

Jul 1980

42.557.5

Aug 1980

42.657.4

Sep 1980

42.657.4

Oct 1980

42.657.4

Nov 1980

42.757.3

Dec 1980

42.757.3

Jan 1981

42.857.2

Feb 1981

42.857.2

Mar 1981

42.957.1

Apr 1981

42.957.1

May 1981

42.957.1

Jun 1981

43.156.9

Jul 1981

43.057.0

Aug 1981

43.057.0

Sep 1981

42.957.1

Oct 1981

43.156.9

Nov 1981

43.256.8

Dec 1981

43.057.0

Jan 1982

43.156.9

Feb 1982

43.256.8

Mar 1982

43.256.8

Apr 1982

43.256.8

May 1982

43.356.7

Jun 1982

43.456.6

Jul 1982

43.556.5

Aug 1982

43.456.6

Sep 1982

43.456.6

Oct 1982

43.356.7

Nov 1982

43.456.6

Dec 1982

43.556.5

Jan 1983

43.656.4

Feb 1983

43.556.5

Mar 1983

43.556.5

Apr 1983

43.456.6

May 1983

43.456.6

Jun 1983

43.456.6

Jul 1983

43.356.7

Aug 1983

43.556.5

Sep 1983

43.656.4

Oct 1983

43.556.5

Nov 1983

43.556.5

Dec 1983

43.656.4

Jan 1984

43.556.5

Feb 1984

43.656.4

Mar 1984

43.656.4

Apr 1984

43.856.2

May 1984

44.056.0

Jun 1984

43.856.2

Jul 1984

43.956.1

Aug 1984

43.856.2

Sep 1984

43.756.3

Oct 1984

43.956.1

Nov 1984

43.856.2

Dec 1984

43.956.1

Jan 1985

44.155.9

Feb 1985

44.255.8

Mar 1985

44.355.7

Apr 1985

44.255.8

May 1985

44.255.8

Jun 1985

44.155.9

Jul 1985

44.155.9

Aug 1985

44.155.9

Sep 1985

44.355.7

Oct 1985

44.255.8

Nov 1985

44.355.7

Dec 1985

44.455.6

Jan 1986

44.255.8

Feb 1986

44.355.7

Mar 1986

44.455.6

Apr 1986

44.455.6

May 1986

44.455.6

Jun 1986

44.655.4

Jul 1986

44.555.5

Aug 1986

44.655.4

Sep 1986

44.555.5

Oct 1986

44.755.3

Nov 1986

44.555.5

Dec 1986

44.555.5

Jan 1987

44.555.5

Feb 1987

44.655.4

Mar 1987

44.755.3

Apr 1987

44.755.3

May 1987

44.855.2

Jun 1987

44.855.2

Jul 1987

44.955.1

Aug 1987

44.855.2

Sep 1987

44.855.2

Oct 1987

44.955.1

Nov 1987

44.955.1

Dec 1987

45.055.0

Jan 1988

44.955.1

Feb 1988

45.055.0

Mar 1988

45.055.0

Apr 1988

44.955.1

May 1988

44.855.2

Jun 1988

44.955.1

Jul 1988

44.955.1

Aug 1988

44.955.1

Sep 1988

45.055.0

Oct 1988

45.154.9

Nov 1988

45.354.7

Dec 1988

45.354.7

Jan 1989

45.354.7

Feb 1989

45.254.8

Mar 1989

45.254.8

Apr 1989

45.254.8

May 1989

45.254.8

Jun 1989

45.154.9

Jul 1989

45.254.8

Aug 1989

45.254.8

Sep 1989

45.454.6

Oct 1989

45.254.8

Nov 1989

45.454.6

Dec 1989

45.354.7

Jan 1990

45.154.9

Feb 1990

45.154.9

Mar 1990

45.254.8

Apr 1990

45.254.8

May 1990

45.254.8

Jun 1990

45.154.9

Jul 1990

45.254.8

Aug 1990

45.254.8

Sep 1990

45.354.7

Oct 1990

45.254.8

Nov 1990

45.154.9

Dec 1990

45.154.9

Jan 1991

45.254.8

Feb 1991

45.254.8

Mar 1991

45.154.9

Apr 1991

45.354.7

May 1991

45.354.7

Jun 1991

45.254.8

Jul 1991

45.254.8

Aug 1991

45.254.8

Sep 1991

45.354.7

Oct 1991

45.454.6

Nov 1991

45.354.7

Dec 1991

45.454.6

Jan 1992

45.454.6

Feb 1992

45.454.6

Mar 1992

45.454.6

Apr 1992

45.454.6

May 1992

45.354.7

Jun 1992

45.354.7

Jul 1992

45.454.6

Aug 1992

45.454.6

Sep 1992

45.354.7

Oct 1992

45.354.7

Nov 1992

45.454.6

Dec 1992

45.554.5

Jan 1993

45.454.6

Feb 1993

45.454.6

Mar 1993

45.354.7

Apr 1993

45.454.6

May 1993

45.554.5

Jun 1993

45.454.6

Jul 1993

45.454.6

Aug 1993

45.554.5

Sep 1993

45.654.4

Oct 1993

45.654.4

Nov 1993

45.754.3

Dec 1993

45.854.2

Jan 1994

45.854.2

Feb 1994

46.054.0

Mar 1994

46.054.0

Apr 1994

46.054.0

May 1994

46.153.9

Jun 1994

46.054.0

Jul 1994

46.054.0

Aug 1994

46.054.0

Sep 1994

46.054.0

Oct 1994

45.954.1

Nov 1994

46.054.0

Dec 1994

45.854.2

Jan 1995

45.954.1

Feb 1995

45.954.1

Mar 1995

45.954.1

Apr 1995

46.153.9

May 1995

46.153.9

Jun 1995

46.054.0

Jul 1995

46.153.9

Aug 1995

46.153.9

Sep 1995

46.153.9

Oct 1995

46.253.8

Nov 1995

46.353.7

Dec 1995

46.153.9

Jan 1996

46.153.9

Feb 1996

46.153.9

Mar 1996

46.153.9

Apr 1996

46.153.9

May 1996

46.153.9

Jun 1996

46.153.9

Jul 1996

46.153.9

Aug 1996

46.253.8

Sep 1996

46.253.8

Oct 1996

46.353.7

Nov 1996

46.453.6

Dec 1996

46.453.6

Jan 1997

46.253.8

Feb 1997

46.253.8

Mar 1997

46.253.8

Apr 1997

46.253.8

May 1997

46.253.8

Jun 1997

46.253.8

Jul 1997

46.353.7

Aug 1997

46.353.7

Sep 1997

46.353.7

Oct 1997

46.353.7

Nov 1997

46.253.8

Dec 1997

46.453.6

Jan 1998

46.353.7

Feb 1998

46.353.7

Mar 1998

46.453.6

Apr 1998

46.253.8

May 1998

46.253.8

Jun 1998

46.253.8

Jul 1998

46.253.8

Aug 1998

46.453.6

Sep 1998

46.353.7

Oct 1998

46.353.7

Nov 1998

46.253.8

Dec 1998

46.353.7

Jan 1999

46.553.5

Feb 1999

46.553.5

Mar 1999

46.553.5

Apr 1999

46.653.4

May 1999

46.553.5

Jun 1999

46.653.4

Jul 1999

46.553.5

Aug 1999

46.653.4

Sep 1999

46.653.4

Oct 1999

46.653.4

Nov 1999

46.653.4

Dec 1999

46.553.5

Jan 2000

46.553.5

Feb 2000

46.453.6

Mar 2000

46.553.5

Apr 2000

46.653.4

May 2000

46.653.4

Jun 2000

46.553.5

Jul 2000

46.653.4

Aug 2000

46.453.6

Sep 2000

46.553.5

Oct 2000

46.553.5

Nov 2000

46.553.5

Dec 2000

46.553.5

Jan 2001

46.553.5

Feb 2001

46.553.5

Mar 2001

46.653.4

Apr 2001

46.453.6

May 2001

46.553.5

Jun 2001

46.553.5

Jul 2001

46.553.5

Aug 2001

46.553.5

Sep 2001

46.453.6

Oct 2001

46.553.5

Nov 2001

46.553.5

Dec 2001

46.553.5

Jan 2002

46.553.5

Feb 2002

46.653.4

Mar 2002

46.553.5

Apr 2002

46.553.5

May 2002

46.453.6

Jun 2002

46.553.5

Jul 2002

46.453.6

Aug 2002

46.553.5

Sep 2002

46.453.6

Oct 2002

46.553.5

Nov 2002

46.653.4

Dec 2002

46.653.4

Jan 2003

46.753.3

Feb 2003

46.653.4

Mar 2003

46.853.2

Apr 2003

46.653.4

May 2003

46.753.3

Jun 2003

46.753.3

Jul 2003

46.653.4

Aug 2003

46.753.3

Sep 2003

46.453.6

Oct 2003

46.553.5

Nov 2003

46.453.6

Dec 2003

46.453.6

Jan 2004

46.353.7

Feb 2004

46.553.5

Mar 2004

46.553.5

Apr 2004

46.553.5

May 2004

46.553.5

Jun 2004

46.553.5

Jul 2004

46.453.6

Aug 2004

46.353.7

Sep 2004

46.453.6

Oct 2004

46.353.7

Nov 2004

46.353.7

Dec 2004

46.453.6

Jan 2005

46.553.5

Feb 2005

46.453.6

Mar 2005

46.453.6

Apr 2005

46.453.6

May 2005

46.453.6

Jun 2005

46.353.7

Jul 2005

46.453.6

Aug 2005

46.353.7

Sep 2005

46.553.5

Oct 2005

46.553.5

Nov 2005

46.453.6

Dec 2005

46.453.6

Jan 2006

46.353.7

Feb 2006

46.353.7

Mar 2006

46.253.8

Apr 2006

46.353.7

May 2006

46.353.7

Jun 2006

46.453.6

Jul 2006

46.653.4

Aug 2006

46.453.6

Sep 2006

46.353.7

Oct 2006

46.453.6

Nov 2006

46.453.6

Dec 2006

46.353.7

Jan 2007

46.353.7

Feb 2007

46.353.7

Mar 2007

46.353.7

Apr 2007

46.253.8

May 2007

46.353.7

Jun 2007

46.353.7

Jul 2007

46.453.6

Aug 2007

46.553.5

Sep 2007

46.553.5

Oct 2007

46.453.6

Nov 2007

46.453.6

Dec 2007

46.453.6

Jan 2008

46.453.6

Feb 2008

46.453.6

Mar 2008

46.553.5

Apr 2008

46.553.5

May 2008

46.553.5

Jun 2008

46.553.5

Jul 2008

46.453.6

Aug 2008

46.653.4

Sep 2008

46.553.5

Oct 2008

46.653.4

Nov 2008

46.653.4

Dec 2008

46.753.3

Jan 2009

46.753.3

Feb 2009

46.753.3

Mar 2009

46.853.2

Apr 2009

46.753.3

May 2009

46.753.3

Jun 2009

46.753.3

Jul 2009

46.853.2

Aug 2009

46.753.3

Sep 2009

46.753.3

Oct 2009

46.753.3

Nov 2009

46.753.3

Dec 2009

46.853.2

Jan 2010

46.853.2

Feb 2010

46.853.2

Mar 2010

46.753.3

Apr 2010

46.653.4

May 2010

46.753.3

Jun 2010

46.753.3

Jul 2010

46.753.3

Aug 2010

46.753.3

Sep 2010

46.753.3

Oct 2010

46.853.2

Nov 2010

46.853.2

Dec 2010

46.853.2

Jan 2011

46.753.3

Feb 2011

46.653.4

Mar 2011

46.753.3

Apr 2011

46.753.3

May 2011

46.653.4

Jun 2011

46.653.4

Jul 2011

46.653.4

Aug 2011

46.653.4

Sep 2011

46.753.3

Oct 2011

46.753.3

Nov 2011

46.653.4

Dec 2011

46.553.5

Jan 2012

46.953.1

Feb 2012

46.953.1

Mar 2012

46.953.1

Apr 2012

46.953.1

May 2012

46.953.1

Jun 2012

46.953.1

Jul 2012

46.853.2

Aug 2012

46.953.1

Sep 2012

46.953.1

Oct 2012

46.853.2

Nov 2012

46.953.1

Dec 2012

46.953.1

Jan 2013

46.753.3

Feb 2013

46.853.2

Mar 2013

46.853.2

Apr 2013

46.853.2

May 2013

46.853.2

Jun 2013

46.853.2

Jul 2013

46.853.2

Aug 2013

46.953.1

Sep 2013

46.853.2

Oct 2013

46.853.2

Nov 2013

46.853.2

Dec 2013

46.953.1

Jan 2014

46.953.1

Feb 2014

47.053.0

Mar 2014

46.953.1

Apr 2014

46.953.1

May 2014

46.953.1

Jun 2014

46.853.2

Jul 2014

46.853.2

Aug 2014

46.753.3

Sep 2014

46.753.3

Oct 2014

46.953.1

Nov 2014

46.953.1

Dec 2014

46.753.3

Jan 2015

46.853.2

Feb 2015

46.753.3

Mar 2015

46.753.3

Apr 2015

46.753.3

May 2015

46.853.2

Jun 2015

46.853.2

Jul 2015

46.853.2

Aug 2015

46.853.2

Sep 2015

46.753.3

Oct 2015

46.853.2

Nov 2015

46.953.1

Dec 2015

46.953.1

Jan 2016

46.953.1

Feb 2016

46.853.2

Mar 2016

46.853.2

Apr 2016

46.853.2

May 2016

46.853.2

Jun 2016

46.653.4

Jul 2016

46.653.4

Aug 2016

46.753.3

Sep 2016

46.753.3

Oct 2016

46.753.3

Nov 2016

46.853.2

Dec 2016

46.853.2

Jan 2017

46.853.2

Feb 2017

46.853.2

Mar 2017

47.053.0

Apr 2017

46.953.1

May 2017

46.953.1

Jun 2017

46.953.1

Jul 2017

47.053.0

Aug 2017

46.953.1

Sep 2017

46.853.2

Oct 2017

46.853.2

Nov 2017

46.953.1

Dec 2017

46.853.2

Jan 2018

46.753.3

Feb 2018

46.753.3

Mar 2018

46.753.3

Apr 2018

46.753.3

May 2018

46.753.3

Jun 2018

46.953.1

Jul 2018

47.152.9

Aug 2018

46.953.1

Sep 2018

46.953.1

Oct 2018

47.053.0

Nov 2018

47.053.0

Dec 2018

47.053.0

Jan 2019

47.053.0

Feb 2019

47.053.0

Mar 2019

46.953.1

Apr 2019

46.953.1

May 2019

46.953.1

Jun 2019

46.953.1

Jul 2019

46.953.1

Aug 2019

47.053.0

Sep 2019

47.053.0

Oct 2019

47.152.9

Nov 2019

47.053.0

Dec 2019

47.152.9

Jan 2020

47.152.9

Feb 2020

47.152.9

Mar 2020

47.152.9

Apr 2020

46.953.1

May 2020

47.053.0

Jun 2020

47.152.9

Jul 2020

47.252.8

Aug 2020

47.053.0

Sep 2020

46.853.2

Oct 2020

46.853.2

Nov 2020

47.053.0

Dec 2020

47.053.0

Jan 2021

46.853.2

Feb 2021

46.953.1
Percent of women and men ages 25 to 64 in the labor force who have a bachelor’s degree and higher
YearWomenMen

1970

11.215.7

1971

11.816.5

1972

12.417.3

1973

13.318.2

1974

14.619.3

1975

14.120.2

1976

16.221.5

1977

16.922.3

1978

17.023.0

1979

17.823.8

1980

18.724.3

1981

18.624.6

1982

19.525.5

1983

20.926.6

1984

21.726.9

1985

22.027.1

1986

22.226.9

1987

22.827.2

1988

23.127.8

1989

24.328.2

1990

24.528.0

1991

25.227.6

1992

25.027.8

1993

25.728.1

1994

26.228.8

1995

26.929.4

1996

27.829.4

1997

28.429.6

1998

29.230.3

1999

29.931.0

2000

30.131.2

2001

30.431.4

2002

31.331.8

2003

32.232.1

2004

32.632.3

2005

33.331.9

2006

33.932.3

2007

34.932.9

2008

35.633.0

2009

36.033.0

2010

36.433.0

2011

37.133.7

2012

38.134.1

2013

39.034.7

2014

40.035.0

2015

41.135.7

2016

41.636.2

2017

42.736.8

2018

43.837.5

2019

45.037.9
Unemployment rates, seasonally adjusted
MonthWomenMen

Jan 1948

3.33.4

Feb 1948

4.53.6

Mar 1948

4.43.8

Apr 1948

4.33.8

May 1948

3.73.5

Jun 1948

4.33.3

Jul 1948

4.23.4

Aug 1948

4.43.6

Sep 1948

4.13.7

Oct 1948

4.03.6

Nov 1948

3.93.7

Dec 1948

4.23.9

Jan 1949

4.44.2

Feb 1949

4.84.6

Mar 1949

4.65.1

Apr 1949

5.55.3

May 1949

6.06.1

Jun 1949

6.26.2

Jul 1949

6.86.7

Aug 1949

6.86.8

Sep 1949

6.86.5

Oct 1949

6.88.4

Nov 1949

6.36.5

Dec 1949

6.86.5

Jan 1950

6.96.4

Feb 1950

6.86.2

Mar 1950

6.76.1

Apr 1950

5.45.9

May 1950

5.85.4

Jun 1950

6.15.1

Jul 1950

5.64.8

Aug 1950

4.84.3

Sep 1950

5.14.2

Oct 1950

4.83.9

Nov 1950

5.23.7

Dec 1950

5.23.8

Jan 1951

4.63.3

Feb 1951

4.53.0

Mar 1951

4.92.7

Apr 1951

4.42.5

May 1951

4.22.5

Jun 1951

4.32.8

Jul 1951

4.02.7

Aug 1951

3.92.8

Sep 1951

4.62.8

Oct 1951

4.53.1

Nov 1951

4.53.1

Dec 1951

4.22.7

Jan 1952

3.92.8

Feb 1952

3.82.8

Mar 1952

3.52.7

Apr 1952

3.52.7

May 1952

3.92.6

Jun 1952

3.52.8

Jul 1952

3.73.0

Aug 1952

3.83.2

Sep 1952

3.33.0

Oct 1952

3.82.6

Nov 1952

3.42.5

Dec 1952

3.12.5

Jan 1953

3.12.8

Feb 1953

2.92.4

Mar 1953

3.22.3

Apr 1953

3.02.6

May 1953

2.72.5

Jun 1953

2.82.4

Jul 1953

2.92.5

Aug 1953

3.02.5

Sep 1953

3.42.7

Oct 1953

3.62.9

Nov 1953

3.73.4

Dec 1953

5.14.2

Jan 1954

5.94.4

Feb 1954

5.94.9

Mar 1954

6.45.3

Apr 1954

6.45.6

May 1954

6.35.7

Jun 1954

6.25.3

Jul 1954

6.35.6

Aug 1954

6.26.0

Sep 1954

6.46.0

Oct 1954

5.85.7

Nov 1954

5.65.2

Dec 1954

5.25.0

Jan 1955

5.34.8

Feb 1955

5.04.5

Mar 1955

4.84.5

Apr 1955

4.74.7

May 1955

4.74.0

Jun 1955

4.73.9

Jul 1955

4.63.8

Aug 1955

4.93.9

Sep 1955

5.03.7

Oct 1955

5.13.9

Nov 1955

4.93.9

Dec 1955

4.93.8

Jan 1956

4.53.8

Feb 1956

4.33.8

Mar 1956

5.13.8

Apr 1956

4.83.6

May 1956

5.03.9

Jun 1956

5.14.0

Jul 1956

5.73.8

Aug 1956

4.83.7

Sep 1956

4.63.6

Oct 1956

4.73.5

Nov 1956

4.94.0

Dec 1956

4.73.9

Jan 1957

4.83.9

Feb 1957

4.53.6

Mar 1957

4.33.5

Apr 1957

4.23.8

May 1957

4.73.8

Jun 1957

4.84.0

Jul 1957

4.83.8

Aug 1957

4.73.9

Sep 1957

4.64.3

Oct 1957

4.64.4

Nov 1957

5.15.2

Dec 1957

5.15.2

Jan 1958

5.95.7

Feb 1958

6.66.3

Mar 1958

6.66.7

Apr 1958

7.67.3

May 1958

7.37.5

Jun 1958

7.17.4

Jul 1958

7.37.6

Aug 1958

7.27.5

Sep 1958

7.07.1

Oct 1958

6.76.7

Nov 1958

6.06.3

Dec 1958

6.26.2

Jan 1959

6.25.9

Feb 1959

6.05.8

Mar 1959

6.25.3

Apr 1959

6.14.8

May 1959

5.84.8

Jun 1959

5.64.7

Jul 1959

5.74.9

Aug 1959

5.65.1

Sep 1959

5.65.5

Oct 1959

6.15.5

Nov 1959

5.85.9

Dec 1959

5.85.0

Jan 1960

5.75.0

Feb 1960

5.44.6

Mar 1960

5.85.3

Apr 1960

5.55.0

May 1960

5.55.0

Jun 1960

5.75.2

Jul 1960

5.85.3

Aug 1960

5.85.6

Sep 1960

5.75.5

Oct 1960

6.45.9

Nov 1960

6.56.0

Dec 1960

7.06.3

Jan 1961

6.96.5

Feb 1961

7.36.6

Mar 1961

7.46.6

Apr 1961

7.46.8

May 1961

7.46.9

Jun 1961

7.66.5

Jul 1961

7.76.6

Aug 1961

7.06.4

Sep 1961

7.36.3

Oct 1961

7.26.1

Nov 1961

6.65.8

Dec 1961

6.45.7

Jan 1962

6.75.4

Feb 1962

6.25.2

Mar 1962

6.35.2

Apr 1962

6.25.2

May 1962

6.05.2

Jun 1962

5.85.3

Jul 1962

6.15.1

Aug 1962

6.45.3

Sep 1962

6.35.2

Oct 1962

6.15.0

Nov 1962

6.35.3

Dec 1962

6.25.1

Jan 1963

6.45.4

Feb 1963

6.55.7

Mar 1963

6.25.4

Apr 1963

6.25.4

May 1963

6.75.4

Jun 1963

6.45.1

Jul 1963

6.65.1

Aug 1963

6.34.9

Sep 1963

6.64.9

Oct 1963

6.65.0

Nov 1963

6.65.3

Dec 1963

6.45.0

Jan 1964

6.65.0

Feb 1964

6.54.8

Mar 1964

6.64.8

Apr 1964

6.44.8

May 1964

6.34.5

Jun 1964

6.24.7

Jul 1964

6.04.4

Aug 1964

5.94.5

Sep 1964

6.04.6

Oct 1964

6.14.5

Nov 1964

5.94.3

Dec 1964

6.24.3

Jan 1965

5.94.3

Feb 1965

6.44.3

Mar 1965

5.94.1

Apr 1965

5.94.3

May 1965

5.54.1

Jun 1965

5.73.9

Jul 1965

5.33.9

Aug 1965

5.23.9

Sep 1965

5.43.7

Oct 1965

5.13.7

Nov 1965

5.43.4

Dec 1965

5.13.4

Jan 1966

5.03.4

Feb 1966

4.73.3

Mar 1966

4.83.3

Apr 1966

4.83.1

May 1966

5.23.2

Jun 1966

4.93.2

Jul 1966

4.83.2

Aug 1966

4.93.2

Sep 1966

4.73.1

Oct 1966

4.93.0

Nov 1966

4.63.1

Dec 1966

4.83.2

Jan 1967

5.43.0

Feb 1967

5.23.0

Mar 1967

5.13.0

Apr 1967

4.93.1

May 1967

5.03.2

Jun 1967

5.13.2

Jul 1967

5.13.0

Aug 1967

4.93.1

Sep 1967

5.32.9

Oct 1967

5.63.1

Nov 1967

5.23.1

Dec 1967

5.13.1

Jan 1968

5.03.0

Feb 1968

5.13.1

Mar 1968

4.83.0

Apr 1968

4.72.8

May 1968

4.72.7

Jun 1968

4.93.0

Jul 1968

5.02.9

Aug 1968

4.72.8

Sep 1968

4.52.7

Oct 1968

4.52.7

Nov 1968

4.62.7

Dec 1968

4.62.7

Jan 1969

4.62.7

Feb 1969

4.62.6

Mar 1969

4.62.7

Apr 1969

4.72.6

May 1969

4.62.6

Jun 1969

4.82.7

Jul 1969

4.62.9

Aug 1969

4.82.8

Sep 1969

4.93.1

Oct 1969

5.03.0

Nov 1969

4.52.9

Dec 1969

4.53.0

Jan 1970

4.93.3

Feb 1970

5.13.6

Mar 1970

5.63.7

Apr 1970

5.54.0

May 1970

5.74.2

Jun 1970

5.74.5

Jul 1970

5.84.6

Aug 1970

6.04.6

Sep 1970

6.34.8

Oct 1970

6.45.0

Nov 1970

6.95.2

Dec 1970

6.95.6

Jan 1971

6.85.4

Feb 1971

6.85.3

Mar 1971

7.15.3

Apr 1971

7.05.2

May 1971

6.95.3

Jun 1971

6.95.3

Jul 1971

7.05.4

Aug 1971

7.05.5

Sep 1971

6.95.4

Oct 1971

6.85.2

Nov 1971

7.05.4

Dec 1971

6.85.5

Jan 1972

6.75.3

Feb 1972

6.45.3

Mar 1972

6.75.3

Apr 1972

6.75.1

May 1972

6.65.1

Jun 1972

6.84.9

Jul 1972

7.04.8

Aug 1972

6.94.9

Sep 1972

6.74.8

Oct 1972

6.84.8

Nov 1972

6.24.6

Dec 1972

6.24.5

Jan 1973

6.14.2

Feb 1973

6.24.3

Mar 1973

6.04.3

Apr 1973

6.14.3

May 1973

5.74.3

Jun 1973

6.04.1

Jul 1973

6.04.0

Aug 1973

6.04.1

Sep 1973

6.14.0

Oct 1973

5.73.9

Nov 1973

6.04.1

Dec 1973

6.14.2

Jan 1974

6.24.4

Feb 1974

6.24.5

Mar 1974

6.14.4

Apr 1974

6.04.5

May 1974

6.34.4

Jun 1974

6.54.6

Jul 1974

6.84.7

Aug 1974

6.54.8

Sep 1974

7.15.0

Oct 1974

7.15.3

Nov 1974

7.95.8

Dec 1974

8.36.4

Jan 1975

9.27.3

Feb 1975

9.17.4

Mar 1975

9.67.9

Apr 1975

9.68.2

May 1975

9.88.4

Jun 1975

9.48.3

Jul 1975

9.38.2

Aug 1975

9.27.9

Sep 1975

9.08.0

Oct 1975

9.27.8

Nov 1975

9.07.8

Dec 1975

9.17.6

Jan 1976

8.97.3

Feb 1976

8.87.0

Mar 1976

8.66.9

Apr 1976

8.67.0

May 1976

8.16.9

Jun 1976

8.47.1

Jul 1976

8.87.1

Aug 1976

9.06.9

Sep 1976

8.77.0

Oct 1976

8.77.0

Nov 1976

8.77.3

Dec 1976

8.57.2

Jan 1977

8.56.8

Feb 1977

8.67.0

Mar 1977

8.66.6

Apr 1977

8.46.4

May 1977

7.96.4

Jun 1977

8.46.4

Jul 1977

8.06.1

Aug 1977

8.16.2

Sep 1977

8.15.8

Oct 1977

7.96.0

Nov 1977

8.15.8

Dec 1977

7.55.5

Jan 1978

7.65.6

Feb 1978

7.25.6

Mar 1978

7.25.6

Apr 1978

7.15.3

May 1978

7.25.2

Jun 1978

7.24.9

Jul 1978

7.65.1

Aug 1978

7.25.0

Sep 1978

7.25.1

Oct 1978

6.75.1

Nov 1978

7.05.0

Dec 1978

7.05.3

Jan 1979

6.95.1

Feb 1979

6.95.2

Mar 1979

6.85.1

Apr 1979

6.85.1

May 1979

6.74.8

Jun 1979

6.84.9

Jul 1979

6.65.1

Aug 1979

7.15.2

Sep 1979

6.75.2

Oct 1979

6.95.3

Nov 1979

6.75.3

Dec 1979

6.85.3

Jan 1980

6.95.8

Feb 1980

7.05.8

Mar 1980

6.95.9

Apr 1980

7.26.7

May 1980

7.57.4

Jun 1980

7.67.6

Jul 1980

7.87.8

Aug 1980

7.87.7

Sep 1980

7.37.6

Oct 1980

7.77.4

Nov 1980

7.67.3

Dec 1980

7.66.9

Jan 1981

7.87.2

Feb 1981

7.77.3

Mar 1981

7.77.1

Apr 1981

7.66.9

May 1981

7.87.3

Jun 1981

7.87.3

Jul 1981

7.76.9

Aug 1981

7.77.2

Sep 1981

8.17.2

Oct 1981

8.37.7

Nov 1981

8.48.1

Dec 1981

8.58.5

Jan 1982

8.58.7

Feb 1982

8.98.8

Mar 1982

8.99.1

Apr 1982

9.39.4

May 1982

9.39.4

Jun 1982

9.29.8

Jul 1982

9.610.0

Aug 1982

9.410.2

Sep 1982

9.510.6

Oct 1982

9.810.9

Nov 1982

10.211.1

Dec 1982

10.411.2

Jan 1983

10.110.7

Feb 1983

9.910.9

Mar 1983

9.810.7

Apr 1983

9.510.7

May 1983

9.510.5

Jun 1983

9.910.1

Jul 1983

9.09.8

Aug 1983

9.09.8

Sep 1983

8.79.5

Oct 1983

8.59.1

Nov 1983

8.28.6

Dec 1983

8.38.3

Jan 1984

7.98.1

Feb 1984

7.87.8

Mar 1984

7.87.7

Apr 1984

7.87.7

May 1984

7.67.3

Jun 1984

7.47.1

Jul 1984

7.67.4

Aug 1984

7.87.3

Sep 1984

7.47.3

Oct 1984

7.77.1

Nov 1984

7.47.0

Dec 1984

7.47.2

Jan 1985

7.67.1

Feb 1985

7.47.1

Mar 1985

7.57.0

Apr 1985

7.57.1

May 1985

7.66.9

Jun 1985

7.57.2

Jul 1985

7.67.2

Aug 1985

7.36.9

Sep 1985

7.46.9

Oct 1985

7.37.1

Nov 1985

7.26.9

Dec 1985

7.26.8

Jan 1986

6.96.5

Feb 1986

7.47.0

Mar 1986

7.47.0

Apr 1986

7.46.9

May 1986

7.37.1

Jun 1986

7.37.1

Jul 1986

7.07.1

Aug 1986

6.96.9

Sep 1986

6.97.1

Oct 1986

6.97.0

Nov 1986

6.96.9

Dec 1986

6.56.7

Jan 1987

6.66.7

Feb 1987

6.66.6

Mar 1987

6.76.5

Apr 1987

6.36.3

May 1987

6.26.4

Jun 1987

6.06.3

Jul 1987

6.06.1

Aug 1987

6.06.1

Sep 1987

6.05.8

Oct 1987

6.15.9

Nov 1987

6.05.7

Dec 1987

5.85.7

Jan 1988

5.85.7

Feb 1988

5.95.6

Mar 1988

5.75.7

Apr 1988

5.65.3

May 1988

5.65.6

Jun 1988

5.45.4

Jul 1988

5.55.3

Aug 1988

5.65.6

Sep 1988

5.55.3

Oct 1988

5.45.4

Nov 1988

5.35.3

Dec 1988

5.35.3

Jan 1989

5.45.4

Feb 1989

5.15.2

Mar 1989

5.24.9

Apr 1989

5.35.2

May 1989

5.45.0

Jun 1989

5.65.1

Jul 1989

5.65.0

Aug 1989

5.45.1

Sep 1989

5.25.4

Oct 1989

5.45.3

Nov 1989

5.45.4

Dec 1989

5.45.3

Jan 1990

5.35.4

Feb 1990

5.45.2

Mar 1990

5.35.2

Apr 1990

5.45.4

May 1990

5.45.3

Jun 1990

5.25.3

Jul 1990

5.45.6

Aug 1990

5.65.8

Sep 1990

5.85.9

Oct 1990

5.76.1

Nov 1990

5.96.4

Dec 1990

5.96.5

Jan 1991

6.26.5

Feb 1991

6.16.9

Mar 1991

6.37.2

Apr 1991

6.27.1

May 1991

6.67.2

Jun 1991

6.57.2

Jul 1991

6.37.2

Aug 1991

6.57.2

Sep 1991

6.47.3

Oct 1991

6.67.3

Nov 1991

6.77.4

Dec 1991

6.97.6

Jan 1992

6.77.8

Feb 1992

6.97.9

Mar 1992

6.97.9

Apr 1992

6.97.7

May 1992

7.18.1

Jun 1992

7.38.3

Jul 1992

7.38.0

Aug 1992

7.28.0

Sep 1992

7.28.0

Oct 1992

6.87.8

Nov 1992

7.07.8

Dec 1992

7.27.6

Jan 1993

7.07.4

Feb 1993

6.97.4

Mar 1993

6.57.5

Apr 1993

6.77.4

May 1993

6.87.3

Jun 1993

6.77.4

Jul 1993

6.57.2

Aug 1993

6.47.1

Sep 1993

6.47.0

Oct 1993

6.56.9

Nov 1993

6.56.7

Dec 1993

6.46.6

Jan 1994

6.46.8

Feb 1994

6.46.7

Mar 1994

6.56.5

Apr 1994

6.36.4

May 1994

6.06.1

Jun 1994

6.16.1

Jul 1994

5.96.3

Aug 1994

6.06.1

Sep 1994

5.95.8

Oct 1994

5.75.8

Nov 1994

5.65.6

Dec 1994

5.55.5

Jan 1995

5.65.6

Feb 1995

5.55.4

Mar 1995

5.55.3

Apr 1995

5.95.6

May 1995

5.55.8

Jun 1995

5.75.6

Jul 1995

5.85.6

Aug 1995

5.65.7

Sep 1995

5.75.6

Oct 1995

5.75.4

Nov 1995

5.55.7

Dec 1995

5.55.7

Jan 1996

5.85.6

Feb 1996

5.45.6

Mar 1996

5.35.6

Apr 1996

5.55.6

May 1996

5.55.6

Jun 1996

5.35.3

Jul 1996

5.45.5

Aug 1996

5.35.0

Sep 1996

5.25.2

Oct 1996

5.45.1

Nov 1996

5.45.3

Dec 1996

5.75.0

Jan 1997

5.35.3

Feb 1997

5.45.1

Mar 1997

5.25.1

Apr 1997

5.05.1

May 1997

5.24.6

Jun 1997

5.05.0

Jul 1997

5.04.8

Aug 1997

4.94.8

Sep 1997

5.04.7

Oct 1997

4.74.7

Nov 1997

4.74.6

Dec 1997

4.84.7

Jan 1998

4.84.5

Feb 1998

4.84.5

Mar 1998

4.84.6

Apr 1998

4.64.1

May 1998

4.54.3

Jun 1998

4.64.4

Jul 1998

4.54.6

Aug 1998

4.64.4

Sep 1998

4.64.6

Oct 1998

4.74.4

Nov 1998

4.64.3

Dec 1998

4.44.3

Jan 1999

4.44.2

Feb 1999

4.54.3

Mar 1999

4.43.9

Apr 1999

4.64.1

May 1999

4.24.2

Jun 1999

4.44.2

Jul 1999

4.54.2

Aug 1999

4.34.1

Sep 1999

4.44.1

Oct 1999

4.14.1

Nov 1999

4.24.0

Dec 1999

4.14.0

Jan 2000

4.13.9

Feb 2000

4.14.1

Mar 2000

4.33.8

Apr 2000

4.03.7

May 2000

4.23.9

Jun 2000

4.13.8

Jul 2000

4.23.9

Aug 2000

4.33.9

Sep 2000

4.03.9

Oct 2000

3.93.9

Nov 2000

4.03.9

Dec 2000

3.84.0

Jan 2001

4.14.2

Feb 2001

4.24.3

Mar 2001

4.24.3

Apr 2001

4.34.5

May 2001

4.24.4

Jun 2001

4.44.6

Jul 2001

4.54.6

Aug 2001

4.85.0

Sep 2001

5.04.9

Oct 2001

5.25.4

Nov 2001

5.45.7

Dec 2001

5.75.8

Jan 2002

5.55.8

Feb 2002

5.55.8

Mar 2002

5.65.9

Apr 2002

5.96.0

May 2002

5.75.8

Jun 2002

5.66.0

Jul 2002

5.75.9

Aug 2002

5.55.9

Sep 2002

5.55.9

Oct 2002

5.65.8

Nov 2002

5.66.1

Dec 2002

5.76.2

Jan 2003

5.46.2

Feb 2003

5.66.1

Mar 2003

5.76.1

Apr 2003

5.76.4

May 2003

5.76.4

Jun 2003

5.96.7

Jul 2003

5.76.6

Aug 2003

5.86.3

Sep 2003

5.86.4

Oct 2003

5.76.2

Nov 2003

5.46.2

Dec 2003

5.65.8

Jan 2004

5.75.7

Feb 2004

5.55.6

Mar 2004

5.85.8

Apr 2004

5.45.7

May 2004

5.45.8

Jun 2004

5.65.7

Jul 2004

5.55.5

Aug 2004

5.25.6

Sep 2004

5.25.6

Oct 2004

5.35.6

Nov 2004

5.25.5

Dec 2004

5.15.5

Jan 2005

5.15.4

Feb 2005

5.35.5

Mar 2005

5.15.3

Apr 2005

5.25.1

May 2005

5.25.0

Jun 2005

5.15.0

Jul 2005

5.14.9

Aug 2005

4.94.9

Sep 2005

5.15.0

Oct 2005

5.14.8

Nov 2005

5.15.0

Dec 2005

4.94.8

Jan 2006

4.84.6

Feb 2006

4.84.8

Mar 2006

4.74.7

Apr 2006

4.74.7

May 2006

4.54.7

Jun 2006

4.64.6

Jul 2006

4.74.7

Aug 2006

4.64.7

Sep 2006

4.74.4

Oct 2006

4.44.4

Nov 2006

4.54.5

Dec 2006

4.44.5

Jan 2007

4.54.7

Feb 2007

4.34.7

Mar 2007

4.34.5

Apr 2007

4.44.6

May 2007

4.34.6

Jun 2007

4.44.7

Jul 2007

4.64.7

Aug 2007

4.64.7

Sep 2007

4.54.8

Oct 2007

4.64.8

Nov 2007

4.64.8

Dec 2007

4.95.1

Jan 2008

4.85.2

Feb 2008

4.75.0

Mar 2008

5.05.2

Apr 2008

4.85.2

May 2008

5.25.6

Jun 2008

5.35.8

Jul 2008

5.36.2

Aug 2008

5.96.3

Sep 2008

5.56.7

Oct 2008

5.97.1

Nov 2008

6.27.4

Dec 2008

6.58.0

Jan 2009

7.08.6

Feb 2009

7.39.2

Mar 2009

7.69.7

Apr 2009

7.610.1

May 2009

8.010.6

Jun 2009

8.310.6

Jul 2009

8.310.5

Aug 2009

8.310.7

Sep 2009

8.510.9

Oct 2009

8.711.1

Nov 2009

8.611.0

Dec 2009

8.710.9

Jan 2010

8.411.0

Feb 2010

8.610.9

Mar 2010

8.710.9

Apr 2010

8.810.9

May 2010

8.810.4

Jun 2010

8.310.4

Jul 2010

8.510.3

Aug 2010

8.610.3

Sep 2010

8.610.2

Oct 2010

8.710.1

Nov 2010

9.010.5

Dec 2010

8.510.0

Jan 2011

8.59.7

Feb 2011

8.59.5

Mar 2011

8.49.5

Apr 2011

8.59.6

May 2011

8.59.5

Jun 2011

8.59.6

Jul 2011

8.49.5

Aug 2011

8.59.4

Sep 2011

8.79.3

Oct 2011

8.49.2

Nov 2011

8.38.9

Dec 2011

8.38.7

Jan 2012

8.28.4

Feb 2012

8.18.4

Mar 2012

8.08.4

Apr 2012

8.08.3

May 2012

7.98.4

Jun 2012

7.98.4

Jul 2012

8.08.3

Aug 2012

7.88.3

Sep 2012

7.68.0

Oct 2012

7.67.9

Nov 2012

7.67.9

Dec 2012

7.97.9

Jan 2013

7.88.2

Feb 2013

7.67.8

Mar 2013

7.57.6

Apr 2013

7.37.8

May 2013

7.17.9

Jun 2013

7.37.7

Jul 2013

6.87.7

Aug 2013

6.77.7

Sep 2013

6.77.7

Oct 2013

6.87.5

Nov 2013

6.77.2

Dec 2013

6.66.8

Jan 2014

6.36.8

Feb 2014

6.46.9

Mar 2014

6.66.7

Apr 2014

6.16.4

May 2014

6.26.4

Jun 2014

5.86.3

Jul 2014

6.16.2

Aug 2014

6.06.3

Sep 2014

6.05.9

Oct 2014

5.95.6

Nov 2014

5.85.9

Dec 2014

5.45.7

Jan 2015

5.55.8

Feb 2015

5.35.6

Mar 2015

5.35.6

Apr 2015

5.45.5

May 2015

5.55.7

Jun 2015

5.15.3

Jul 2015

5.25.2

Aug 2015

5.05.1

Sep 2015

5.05.1

Oct 2015

5.05.1

Nov 2015

5.05.2

Dec 2015

4.95.1

Jan 2016

4.94.8

Feb 2016

4.84.9

Mar 2016

5.14.9

Apr 2016

5.05.1

May 2016

4.84.8

Jun 2016

4.84.9

Jul 2016

4.55.0

Aug 2016

4.85.0

Sep 2016

4.85.1

Oct 2016

4.75.0

Nov 2016

4.64.9

Dec 2016

4.64.8

Jan 2017

4.74.7

Feb 2017

4.64.6

Mar 2017

4.34.5

Apr 2017

4.54.5

May 2017

4.54.3

Jun 2017

4.34.3

Jul 2017

4.14.3

Aug 2017

4.34.5

Sep 2017

4.24.3

Oct 2017

4.04.3

Nov 2017

4.14.3

Dec 2017

4.14.1

Jan 2018

4.04.1

Feb 2018

4.14.0

Mar 2018

4.04.0

Apr 2018

3.94.2

May 2018

3.74.0

Jun 2018

3.94.1

Jul 2018

3.83.8

Aug 2018

3.83.9

Sep 2018

3.63.8

Oct 2018

3.73.8

Nov 2018

3.83.7

Dec 2018

3.84.0

Jan 2019

3.94.0

Feb 2019

3.83.8

Mar 2019

3.73.9

Apr 2019

3.53.9

May 2019

3.63.7

Jun 2019

3.63.6

Jul 2019

3.63.7

Aug 2019

3.63.7

Sep 2019

3.33.6

Oct 2019

3.53.7

Nov 2019

3.63.6

Dec 2019

3.63.5

Jan 2020

3.53.5

Feb 2020

3.43.5

Mar 2020

4.44.4

Apr 2020

16.113.6

May 2020

14.512.2

Jun 2020

11.710.5

Jul 2020

10.69.8

Aug 2020

8.68.3

Sep 2020

8.07.7

Oct 2020

6.87.0

Nov 2020

6.46.9

Dec 2020

6.76.7

Jan 2021

6.36.4

Feb 2021

6.16.3
Unemployment rates of women and men, January 2020 to February 2021, seasonally adjusted
MonthWomenMen

Jan 2020

3.53.5

Feb 2020

3.43.5

Mar 2020

4.44.4

Apr 2020

16.113.6

May 2020

14.512.2

Jun 2020

11.710.5

Jul 2020

10.69.8

Aug 2020

8.68.3

Sep 2020

8.07.7

Oct 2020

6.87.0

Nov 2020

6.46.9

Dec 2020

6.76.7

Jan 2021

6.36.4

Feb 2021

6.16.3
Employment–population ratios of women and men, seasonally adjusted
MonthWomenMen

Jan 2006

56.370.0

Feb 2006

56.470.0

Mar 2006

56.470.2

Apr 2006

56.470.0

May 2006

56.670.0

Jun 2006

56.770.0

Jul 2006

56.869.6

Aug 2006

56.869.9

Sep 2006

56.570.2

Oct 2006

56.870.2

Nov 2006

56.870.2

Dec 2006

56.970.4

Jan 2007

56.870.3

Feb 2007

56.870.1

Mar 2007

56.970.2

Apr 2007

56.370.0

May 2007

56.669.9

Jun 2007

56.769.8

Jul 2007

56.669.6

Aug 2007

56.569.4

Sep 2007

56.869.5

Oct 2007

56.569.3

Nov 2007

56.669.6

Dec 2007

56.569.4

Jan 2008

56.669.6

Feb 2008

56.569.5

Mar 2008

56.569.3

Apr 2008

56.669.2

May 2008

56.569.0

Jun 2008

56.468.8

Jul 2008

56.368.6

Aug 2008

56.168.3

Sep 2008

56.168.1

Oct 2008

56.167.8

Nov 2008

55.867.3

Dec 2008

55.666.7

Jan 2009

55.266.2

Feb 2009

55.265.7

Mar 2009

55.065.1

Apr 2009

54.965.0

May 2009

54.764.8

Jun 2009

54.564.6

Jul 2009

54.564.5

Aug 2009

54.364.2

Sep 2009

53.963.9

Oct 2009

53.763.7

Nov 2009

53.863.6

Dec 2009

53.563.3

Jan 2010

53.963.3

Feb 2010

53.863.4

Mar 2010

53.763.6

Apr 2010

53.764.0

May 2010

53.663.9

Jun 2010

53.663.8

Jul 2010

53.563.9

Aug 2010

53.563.9

Sep 2010

53.563.8

Oct 2010

53.363.6

Nov 2010

53.463.4

Dec 2010

53.363.6

Jan 2011

53.363.7

Feb 2011

53.263.8

Mar 2011

53.463.8

Apr 2011

53.363.7

May 2011

53.263.8

Jun 2011

53.063.7

Jul 2011

53.163.6

Aug 2011

53.163.9

Sep 2011

53.263.9

Oct 2011

53.363.9

Nov 2011

53.264.3

Dec 2011

53.164.4

Jan 2012

52.964.3

Feb 2012

53.164.3

Mar 2012

53.264.3

Apr 2012

53.064.3

May 2012

53.164.3

Jun 2012

53.264.4

Jul 2012

53.064.3

Aug 2012

53.164.1

Sep 2012

53.364.5

Oct 2012

53.364.7

Nov 2012

53.264.6

Dec 2012

53.264.6

Jan 2013

53.064.5

Feb 2013

53.064.5

Mar 2013

52.964.5

Apr 2013

53.264.4

May 2013

53.264.4

Jun 2013

53.264.5

Jul 2013

53.464.4

Aug 2013

53.564.3

Sep 2013

53.364.4

Oct 2013

52.964.0

Nov 2013

53.164.5

Dec 2013

53.264.5

Jan 2014

53.464.5

Feb 2014

53.664.3

Mar 2014

53.464.8

Apr 2014

53.564.6

May 2014

53.564.6

Jun 2014

53.564.9

Jul 2014

53.465.0

Aug 2014

53.465.0

Sep 2014

53.465.2

Oct 2014

53.765.3

Nov 2014

53.765.1

Dec 2014

53.665.3

Jan 2015

53.765.3

Feb 2015

53.665.3

Mar 2015

53.665.3

Apr 2015

53.665.5

May 2015

53.865.5

Jun 2015

53.865.3

Jul 2015

53.665.4

Aug 2015

53.865.4

Sep 2015

53.565.3

Oct 2015

53.765.3

Nov 2015

54.065.2

Dec 2015

54.165.5

Jan 2016

54.165.7

Feb 2016

54.165.9

Mar 2016

54.265.9

Apr 2016

54.065.8

May 2016

54.165.7

Jun 2016

53.965.9

Jul 2016

54.165.8

Aug 2016

54.165.9

Sep 2016

54.165.8

Oct 2016

54.165.7

Nov 2016

54.165.7

Dec 2016

54.165.7

Jan 2017

54.265.9

Feb 2017

54.365.9

Mar 2017

54.766.0

Apr 2017

54.666.2

May 2017

54.566.0

Jun 2017

54.666.1

Jul 2017

54.866.0

Aug 2017

54.766.0

Sep 2017

54.866.3

Oct 2017

54.566.0

Nov 2017

54.665.9

Dec 2017

54.566.1

Jan 2018

54.566.2

Feb 2018

54.666.6

Mar 2018

54.766.5

Apr 2018

54.766.5

May 2018

54.866.5

Jun 2018

55.066.3

Jul 2018

55.266.3

Aug 2018

54.866.1

Sep 2018

55.066.2

Oct 2018

55.166.2

Nov 2018

55.166.3

Dec 2018

55.266.3

Jan 2019

55.266.5

Feb 2019

55.366.5

Mar 2019

55.266.5

Apr 2019

55.266.4

May 2019

55.166.5

Jun 2019

55.166.6

Jul 2019

55.266.7

Aug 2019

55.566.6

Sep 2019

55.666.7

Oct 2019

55.766.6

Nov 2019

55.666.8

Dec 2019

55.666.7

Jan 2020

55.866.8

Feb 2020

55.866.8

Mar 2020

54.665.5

Apr 2020

45.857.2

May 2020

47.358.6

Jun 2020

49.560.1

Jul 2020

50.260.5

Aug 2020

51.362.1

Sep 2020

51.262.4

Oct 2020

52.163.0

Nov 2020

52.362.8

Dec 2020

52.262.9

Jan 2021

52.263.2

Feb 2021

52.463.1
Labor force participation rates of parents
MonthFathers with own children ages 6–17, none youngerFathers with own children under age 6Mothers with own children ages 6–17, none youngerMothers with own children under age 6

Jan 2020

92.294.677.767.2

Feb 2020

92.394.377.667.6

Mar 2020

92.194.377.066.4

Apr 2020

90.591.473.564.0

May 2020

91.093.274.464.9

Jun 2020

92.193.974.266.9

Jul 2020

91.493.774.966.9

Aug 2020

90.993.674.666.4

Sep 2020

91.292.674.764.5

Oct 2020

90.793.075.464.8

Nov 2020

91.093.275.465.0

Dec 2020

90.993.375.364.8

Jan 2021

91.193.275.164.4

Feb 2021

91.394.074.665.9
Percent of employed people who teleworked at some point in the last 4 weeks because of the COVID–19 pandemic
MonthWomenMen

May 2020

40.930.8

Jun 2020

36.027.2

Jul 2020

29.323.9

Aug 2020

27.121.9

Sep 2020

25.819.9

Oct 2020

24.018.8

Nov 2020

24.519.3

Dec 2020

26.621.2

Jan 2021

26.020.8

Feb 2021

25.120.5

Productivity Perspective of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

Labor productivity, a key measure of the health of the U.S. economy, had been rising steadily but slowly throughout the 2010s—just over one percent per year on average. But what happens when the economy is thrown into a sudden decline by an unprecedented shock? COVID-19 landed in the United States in the early months of 2020, and it did not take long for its effects on productivity to hit hard and fast.

First, some background. Labor productivity is the ratio of real output to hours worked. Productivity increases when the output of goods and services increases faster than the amount of labor needed to produce the goods and provide the services. Productivity growth is often thought to show that businesses are becoming more efficient and profitable, but the path to positive productivity is not always desirable. Productivity may also increase when output falls but hours worked fall faster.

During 2020, two distinct paths yielded positive productivity growth. From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020, hours worked decreased more than output. We can think of this path as businesses rapidly cutting hours and employment faster than output fell. Conversely, in the third quarter of 2020, the economy began to rebound, and the increase in demand for goods and services outpaced the rising labor hours, also resulting in positive labor productivity growth. (See chart 1).

When looking at the growth rates for output, hours worked, and productivity, we annualize the numbers, meaning these are the growth rates we would observe if the change in a quarter were to continue at that rate for an entire year. The data presented here are for the nonfarm business sector, covering about three-fourths of the U.S. economy, from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. Although we report labor productivity measures quarterly, we incorporated higher frequency data to more accurately capture the rapid changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chart 1. Output, hours worked, and labor productivity, nonfarm business sector, fourth quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020

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

First Quarter 2020, Pandemic on the Horizon

Although the COVID-19 pandemic began during the first quarter of 2020, data from January and February were not significantly affected by the pandemic; business closures and job losses didn’t occur until the latter part of March. Since only one out of three months in the first quarter was affected, the decreases were modest compared to what was to come in the second quarter. Nevertheless, both output (-6.4 percent) and hours worked (-5.6 percent) declined in the first quarter, the first decreases since the second quarter of 2009. The declines in first quarter 2020 were an early sign of the drastic decreases we were about to see. While labor productivity declined only 0.8 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, this was the first decline in labor productivity since the second quarter of 2017.

Second Quarter 2020, COVID-19 Rears Its Ugly Head

The second quarter of 2020 saw historically large decreases in both output and hours worked. Our measures of nonfarm business began in 1947, and the second quarter of 2020 had the largest declines ever recorded in both output (-36.8 percent) and hours worked (-43.2 percent). While the resulting labor productivity growth of 11.1 percent was the largest increase since the first quarter of 1971 (12.3 percent), the large increase in second quarter 2020 resulted from the devastation of the U.S. economy in terms of both employment and output.

How can productivity grow at near a record rate with such large declines in output and hours worked? Remember the different paths to positive labor productivity. Many consumers avoided stores, restaurants, and other public gatherings to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. With shutdowns of nonessential businesses and limited contact and other restrictions for businesses still opened, businesses had to adapt quickly to reduce work hours while trying to preserve output. For example, many eating establishments focused on carryout and outdoor seating to limit their revenue loss. Additionally, online buying and home delivery became more widespread. The data from the second quarter show hours worked fell faster than output, resulting in productivity growth.

Third Quarter 2020, the Road to Recovery

By the third quarter of 2020, both output and hours worked began to climb again and in a big way. Many more businesses had shifted operations online or tried to bring workers back and resume normal operations. Following the historically large declines in the second quarter, we saw historically large increases in the third quarter in both output (44.1 percent) and hours worked (38.3 percent). With output recovering more quickly than hours worked, labor productivity grew by a robust 4.2 percent.

The automotive industry is one that highlights the jumpstart to recovery. In the second quarter, automotive production factories stopped almost entirely, resulting in output and hours worked plummeting. Once they started to reopen in the third quarter, both hours worked and output rebounded. While the third quarter outcome was positive, both output and hours worked still had not returned to their values before the pandemic, meaning much more work remained to fully recover. It is important to remember nonfarm employment at the end of the third quarter was still 10.7 million below the level at the start of the pandemic.

Fourth Quarter 2020, on the Right Track

The fourth quarter continued the large growth for both output (5.5 percent) and hours worked (10.1 percent). This quarter shows how negative productivity is not always a negative thing. In this case, hours worked outpaced output growth, leading to a productivity decline.

When we look over the past year, we see that we are digging out of the huge decline in the second quarter of 2020. The fourth quarter of 2020 was the second straight increase in both hours and output. In the fourth quarter of 2020, output was only 2.6 percent below the level a year earlier, and hours worked were 4.9 percent below. (See chart 2). After the labor productivity rollercoaster ride of 2020, the fourth quarter data suggest things may be on a path to normalcy.

Chart 2. Output and hours worked indexes, nonfarm business sector, fourth quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020

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

Pandemic in Perspective

So how does productivity in a pandemic compare with other major economic events like the Great Recession? From 2007 to 2009, both output and hours worked declined (see chart 3), as the U.S. economy endured a period known as the “Great Recession.” (To learn more, see “Below Trend: the U.S. productivity slowdown since the Great Recession.”) In 2020, both output and hours worked declined at the start of the pandemic. The wild changes from quarter to quarter during the rest of the year were unprecedented, even for an economic downturn. Over the past decade, the movements in output, hours, and productivity were usually small, making 2020 even more unusual.

The last time productivity growth was close to what it was in the second quarter of 2020 was in the second quarter of 2009. Labor productivity typically spikes at the start of an economic recovery because output rises faster than businesses can restore hours. In both the Great Recession and the 2020 pandemic, the magnitude of the changes in output and hours worked were larger than usual. In the Great Recession it took several quarters to see gains in hours worked, whereas 2020 saw a faster turnaround as businesses began to reopen and government restrictions eased in the third quarter. In fact, hours worked in the fourth quarter of 2020 grew faster than output, causing productivity to decline.

Chart 3. Output, hours, and  labor productivity indexes in the nonfarm business sector, 2007–20

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

BLS labor productivity data help us study efficiencies and the economic well-being of the country. Positive labor productivity isn’t always positive. The components that make up the labor productivity measure—output and hours worked—should not be examined alone but rather together to fully understand productivity’s effect on economic growth.

During unprecedented events like the COVID-19 pandemic, historical trends in productivity can provide important context into the economic environment. We at BLS, like many of you, will be very interested to see how the economy recovers and what that will mean for productivity and the economy.

Want to Learn More?

To dive into the data for yourself, check out the BLS webpages on labor productivity. Get the most recent news release to see the data firsthand! Check out Productivity 101 and our video “What is Productivity?” to learn more about the concepts of productivity.

If you have a specific question, you might find it answered in our Frequently Asked Questions. Or you can always contact our staff by email or call (202) 691-5606.

Chart 1. Output, hours worked, and labor productivity, nonfarm business sector, fourth quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020
QuarterOutputHours workedLabor productivity

Q4 2019

2.8%1.3%1.5%

Q1 2020

-6.4-5.6-0.8

Q2 2020

-36.8-43.211.1

Q3 2020

44.138.34.2

Q4 2020

5.510.1-4.2
Chart 2. Output and hours worked indexes, nonfarm business sector, fourth quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020
QuarterOutputHours worked

Q4 2019

100.000100.000

Q1 2020

98.36998.573

Q2 2020

87.69585.589

Q3 2020

96.08292.810

Q4 2020

97.36695.067
Chart 3. Output, hours, and labor productivity indexes in the nonfarm business sector, 2007–20
QuarterOutputHours workedLabor productivity

Q1 2007

100.000100.000100.000

Q2 2007

100.820100.442100.377

Q3 2007

101.464100.134101.329

Q4 2007

102.01599.802102.217

Q1 2008

100.88699.531101.361

Q2 2008

101.36398.944102.444

Q3 2008

100.50297.862102.698

Q4 2008

97.40995.434102.069

Q1 2009

95.79593.004103.002

Q2 2009

95.59290.900105.161

Q3 2009

95.93590.031106.559

Q4 2009

97.29689.843108.295

Q1 2010

97.75289.839108.808

Q2 2010

98.85190.689108.999

Q3 2010

99.94191.205109.579

Q4 2010

100.70891.521110.038

Q1 2011

100.16791.652109.291

Q2 2011

101.20292.496109.412

Q3 2011

101.20092.842109.001

Q4 2011

102.63893.537109.730

Q1 2012

103.84994.272110.158

Q2 2012

104.48394.492110.573

Q3 2012

104.72794.868110.392

Q4 2012

104.90595.356110.013

Q1 2013

105.96995.726110.700

Q2 2013

105.97696.095110.282

Q3 2013

107.03596.647110.748

Q4 2013

108.24296.967111.628

Q1 2014

107.72697.426110.573

Q2 2014

109.57298.110111.682

Q3 2014

111.31498.777112.692

Q4 2014

112.07099.904112.177

Q1 2015

113.326100.020113.302

Q2 2015

114.278100.471113.742

Q3 2015

114.683100.817113.753

Q4 2015

114.787101.306113.307

Q1 2016

115.503101.635113.645

Q2 2016

115.821102.017113.531

Q3 2016

116.522102.310113.891

Q4 2016

117.514102.419114.738

Q1 2017

118.213102.823114.966

Q2 2017

118.819103.599114.691

Q3 2017

119.944103.754115.605

Q4 2017

121.319104.488116.108

Q1 2018

122.600105.109116.642

Q2 2018

123.497105.680116.859

Q3 2018

124.208105.970117.211

Q4 2018

124.648106.228117.341

Q1 2019

125.823106.216118.459

Q2 2019

126.204106.032119.025

Q3 2019

127.104106.663119.165

Q4 2019

127.990107.000119.617

Q1 2020

125.902105.474119.369

Q2 2020

112.24191.580122.561

Q3 2020

122.97599.306123.833

Q4 2020

124.619101.722122.510

On the Importance of Maintaining—and Sometimes Changing—Official Historical Records

I hope Major League Baseball’s recent decision to recognize the records of the Negro Leagues excited you as much as it did me. This move is long overdue. It’s about time that the home runs of Josh Gibson stand beside those of Babe Ruth.

This is a very big change for baseball, and some long-term fans may worry about all of the records that will change. Continuity sometimes has to give way to better statistics, however, when new information becomes available or old but overlooked information emerges. We know about changes like this at BLS. We have been around for 137 years, and we have some statistics that go back almost that far. Just as important, we don’t make changes lightly. Any update to our programs must be balanced against the need for historical comparability. Even so, we change when new or overlooked data must be recognized. Just see what we are doing today with contingent or gig economy workers; we’re finding ways to incorporate these workers that have been around for a long time into our official statistics.

But, back to baseball… Such concern for historical continuity is also a hallmark of baseball statistics, but even baseball has changed. Abner Doubleday might not recognize the designated hitter or a runner starting on second base in extra innings. The same is true for baseball statistics. Hits, runs, and the like are largely reported the same today as 100 years ago, but just look at the explosion of other statistics. Would Doubleday have the foggiest idea what WHIP means? (It measures the number of walks plus hits a pitcher allows per inning pitched.)

Beyond my keen interest in statistics, the updating of MLB data is important to me because I’m a big baseball fan. And that means all baseball. As both a numbers person and a baseball fan, it’s nice to see the statistics and records of these approximately 3,400 Major League-caliber ballplayers from the Negro Leagues counted within the official historical record.

Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs
Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs (photo from the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

One of the game’s best players ever was Satchel Paige of the Kansas City Monarchs, who I had the pleasure of meeting at one of my first jobs as an archivist at the Black Archives of Mid-America. He was donating his baseball memorabilia to the museum at the time. Documenting cultural history at the Archives provided me with a first-hand experience learning about the African American community—its history, heritage, and incomparable stories. That work also heightened my love for baseball, and I count meeting Satchel Paige among my baseball highlights.

As we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and observe African American history, it’s important to step back, to reflect, and to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who, like Satchel Paige, struggled with adversity and became catalysts for change.

And we continue to see change. By recognizing the records of the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball provides an example of how to embrace and celebrate our diversity. I look forward to studying these expanded baseball records and learning more about the great players of the Negro Leagues.

Looking Back on the 2020 U.S. Labor Market and Economy

I know many of us are glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror and have higher hopes for 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much suffering and hardship for people in the United States and around the world. During these challenging times, it remains important to have good, reliable, timely data. Good data are essential for the public health response to the pandemic and for tracking its economic and social effects, as well as the progress toward recovery. Let’s reflect back on some of the historic measures we saw in 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, the BLS staff and our colleagues across the statistical community have remained on the job to meet the growing needs for high-quality data. We are thankful we have been able to keep working; millions of other people haven’t been so fortunate. In part this is due to the way our work life at BLS changed in 2020. Nearly the entire staff has teleworked full time since March. That means we have needed to figure out new ways to collaborate with each other to continue producing essential data about the economy. That change in work life also meant that many staff members faced the challenges of new care arrangements for young children, schooling—often online—for older children, and keeping all their loved ones safe and healthy.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, many consumers began avoiding stores, restaurants, and other public gatherings to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Many businesses and other organizations reduced their operations or closed completely. At the recommendation of public health authorities, many governors and other public leaders issued stay-at-home orders. The economic impact of COVID-19 was breathtaking in its speed and severity.

National employment data. The nation experienced steady employment growth in recent years; BLS recorded average monthly increases in nonfarm employment between about 170,000 and 200,000 from 2016 to 2019. January and February 2020 brought continued job gains before the bottom dropped out in March (down 1.7 million jobs) and especially in April (down 20.7 million). These were the two largest declines in history, dating to 1939. These declines were then followed by the 4 largest increases in history: 2.8 million, 4.8 million, 1.7 million, and 1.5 million. You have to go back to 1983 to find the next highest increase, 1,118,000. Employment in December 2020 was nearly 10 million lower than in February.

Nonfarm payroll employment, January 1970–December 2020

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

National unemployment data. The year started with some record-low unemployment rates. The 3.5-percent unemployment rate in both January and February 2020 tied for the lowest rate since December 1969 (also 3.5 percent). The unemployment rates for several demographic groups were at or near their record lows. For example, the unemployment rate for African Americans in February 2020, at 6.0 percent, was close to the all-time low of 5.2 percent in August 2019.

Then came the pandemic in March 2020. The unemployment rate that month rose 0.9 percentage point to 4.4 percent. In April, the unemployment rate increased by 10.4 percentage points to 14.8 percent, the highest rate and largest one-month increase in history (dating to January 1948). Nearly all demographic groups experienced record-high unemployment rates in April; for example, the rate for Hispanics was a record 18.9 percent, after a record low of 4.0 percent in September 2019. And for the first time since data became available for both groups in 1973, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in April 2020 exceeded the rate for African Americans.

Unemployment rates for selected groups, February, April, and December 2020

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

State unemployment data. We see a similar pattern when looking at state unemployment rates, with record-setting lows early in 2020 followed by record-setting highs. In February, state unemployment rates ranged from a low of 2.2 percent in North Dakota to a high of 5.8 percent in Alaska, with 12 states at their historic lows that month. By April, rates had increased in all states, with 40 states and the District of Columbia setting new highs in that month, and another 7 states cresting in subsequent months. (The state data began in 1976.) State unemployment rates in April ranged from 8.3 percent in Connecticut to 30.1 percent in Nevada. Check out our animated map showing the rapid transformation of state unemployment rates.

Consumer price data. Beyond the job market, the pandemic had a big effect on other aspects of everyday life, including consumers’ buying habits. Toilet paper and wipes were disappearing from store shelves, while fewer people were commuting or traveling. Those trends were reflected in rapid changes in consumer prices.

One-month changes in the Consumer Price Index are typically 0.1 or 0.2 percent; the 0.8 percent decrease in April 2020, was the largest monthly decline since December 2008. The overall change included some large movements in both directions. For example, the price of gasoline declined 20.6 percent in April, the largest one-month decline since November 2008. In contrast, prices for food at home rose by 2.6 percent, the largest monthly increase since February 1974. Looking below the surface even further, several items experienced record one-month price changes, with some records going back over 50 years.

Percent change in consumer prices for selected items in April 2020, seasonally adjusted

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

Labor Productivity data. The BLS quarterly measure of labor productivity in the nonfarm business sector compares output to hours worked. If output rises more than hours worked, productivity increases. The pandemic saw large declines in both output and hours starting in mid-March. There was a small decline in labor productivity in the first quarter of 2020, down 0.3 percent, as output declined (-6.4 percent) slightly more than hours worked (-6.1 percent). While we had not experienced declining productivity in nearly 3 years, small increases or decreases in the quarterly change are common. The second quarter saw labor productivity soar by 10.6 percent, the largest increase since 1971, when productivity increased 12.3 percent in the first quarter. The second quarter 2020 increase reflected a greater decline in hours worked (-42.9 percent) than in output (-36.8 percent).

Since its beginnings in 1884, BLS has built consistent data to allow comparisons across the decades. Maintaining this history allows data users to quickly learn “when was the last time.” We also have collected and published new data specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic. Still to come, BLS will release more 2020 data in the coming year. Those new results will add to the unique story of the extraordinary 2020 economy.

Nonfarm payroll employment, January 1970–December 2020
MonthEmployment levelOver-the-month change

Jan 1970

71,176,000-65,000

Feb 1970

71,305,000129,000

Mar 1970

71,451,000146,000

Apr 1970

71,348,000-103,000

May 1970

71,124,000-224,000

Jun 1970

71,029,000-95,000

Jul 1970

71,053,00024,000

Aug 1970

70,937,000-116,000

Sep 1970

70,944,0007,000

Oct 1970

70,521,000-423,000

Nov 1970

70,409,000-112,000

Dec 1970

70,792,000383,000

Jan 1971

70,865,00073,000

Feb 1971

70,807,000-58,000

Mar 1971

70,860,00053,000

Apr 1971

71,036,000176,000

May 1971

71,247,000211,000

Jun 1971

71,254,0007,000

Jul 1971

71,315,00061,000

Aug 1971

71,373,00058,000

Sep 1971

71,614,000241,000

Oct 1971

71,642,00028,000

Nov 1971

71,847,000205,000

Dec 1971

72,109,000262,000

Jan 1972

72,441,000332,000

Feb 1972

72,648,000207,000

Mar 1972

72,944,000296,000

Apr 1972

73,162,000218,000

May 1972

73,469,000307,000

Jun 1972

73,758,000289,000

Jul 1972

73,709,000-49,000

Aug 1972

74,141,000432,000

Sep 1972

74,264,000123,000

Oct 1972

74,674,000410,000

Nov 1972

74,973,000299,000

Dec 1972

75,268,000295,000

Jan 1973

75,617,000349,000

Feb 1973

76,014,000397,000

Mar 1973

76,284,000270,000

Apr 1973

76,455,000171,000

May 1973

76,648,000193,000

Jun 1973

76,887,000239,000

Jul 1973

76,913,00026,000

Aug 1973

77,168,000255,000

Sep 1973

77,276,000108,000

Oct 1973

77,607,000331,000

Nov 1973

77,920,000313,000

Dec 1973

78,031,000111,000

Jan 1974

78,100,00069,000

Feb 1974

78,254,000154,000

Mar 1974

78,296,00042,000

Apr 1974

78,382,00086,000

May 1974

78,549,000167,000

Jun 1974

78,604,00055,000

Jul 1974

78,636,00032,000

Aug 1974

78,619,000-17,000

Sep 1974

78,610,000-9,000

Oct 1974

78,630,00020,000

Nov 1974

78,265,000-365,000

Dec 1974

77,652,000-613,000

Jan 1975

77,293,000-359,000

Feb 1975

76,918,000-375,000

Mar 1975

76,648,000-270,000

Apr 1975

76,460,000-188,000

May 1975

76,624,000164,000

Jun 1975

76,521,000-103,000

Jul 1975

76,770,000249,000

Aug 1975

77,153,000383,000

Sep 1975

77,228,00075,000

Oct 1975

77,540,000312,000

Nov 1975

77,685,000145,000

Dec 1975

78,017,000332,000

Jan 1976

78,503,000486,000

Feb 1976

78,816,000313,000

Mar 1976

79,048,000232,000

Apr 1976

79,292,000244,000

May 1976

79,312,00020,000

Jun 1976

79,376,00064,000

Jul 1976

79,547,000171,000

Aug 1976

79,704,000157,000

Sep 1976

79,892,000188,000

Oct 1976

79,911,00019,000

Nov 1976

80,240,000329,000

Dec 1976

80,448,000208,000

Jan 1977

80,690,000242,000

Feb 1977

80,988,000298,000

Mar 1977

81,391,000403,000

Apr 1977

81,728,000337,000

May 1977

82,088,000360,000

Jun 1977

82,488,000400,000

Jul 1977

82,834,000346,000

Aug 1977

83,075,000241,000

Sep 1977

83,532,000457,000

Oct 1977

83,800,000268,000

Nov 1977

84,173,000373,000

Dec 1977

84,410,000237,000

Jan 1978

84,594,000184,000

Feb 1978

84,948,000354,000

Mar 1978

85,460,000512,000

Apr 1978

86,162,000702,000

May 1978

86,509,000347,000

Jun 1978

86,950,000441,000

Jul 1978

87,204,000254,000

Aug 1978

87,483,000279,000

Sep 1978

87,621,000138,000

Oct 1978

87,956,000335,000

Nov 1978

88,391,000435,000

Dec 1978

88,671,000280,000

Jan 1979

88,808,000137,000

Feb 1979

89,055,000247,000

Mar 1979

89,479,000424,000

Apr 1979

89,417,000-62,000

May 1979

89,789,000372,000

Jun 1979

90,108,000319,000

Jul 1979

90,217,000109,000

Aug 1979

90,300,00083,000

Sep 1979

90,327,00027,000

Oct 1979

90,481,000154,000

Nov 1979

90,573,00092,000

Dec 1979

90,672,00099,000

Jan 1980

90,800,000128,000

Feb 1980

90,883,00083,000

Mar 1980

90,994,000111,000

Apr 1980

90,849,000-145,000

May 1980

90,420,000-429,000

Jun 1980

90,101,000-319,000

Jul 1980

89,840,000-261,000

Aug 1980

90,099,000259,000

Sep 1980

90,213,000114,000

Oct 1980

90,490,000277,000

Nov 1980

90,747,000257,000

Dec 1980

90,943,000196,000

Jan 1981

91,033,00090,000

Feb 1981

91,105,00072,000

Mar 1981

91,210,000105,000

Apr 1981

91,283,00073,000

May 1981

91,296,00013,000

Jun 1981

91,490,000194,000

Jul 1981

91,601,000111,000

Aug 1981

91,565,000-36,000

Sep 1981

91,477,000-88,000

Oct 1981

91,380,000-97,000

Nov 1981

91,171,000-209,000

Dec 1981

90,895,000-276,000

Jan 1982

90,565,000-330,000

Feb 1982

90,563,000-2,000

Mar 1982

90,434,000-129,000

Apr 1982

90,150,000-284,000

May 1982

90,107,000-43,000

Jun 1982

89,865,000-242,000

Jul 1982

89,521,000-344,000

Aug 1982

89,363,000-158,000

Sep 1982

89,183,000-180,000

Oct 1982

88,907,000-276,000

Nov 1982

88,786,000-121,000

Dec 1982

88,771,000-15,000

Jan 1983

88,990,000219,000

Feb 1983

88,917,000-73,000

Mar 1983

89,090,000173,000

Apr 1983

89,364,000274,000

May 1983

89,644,000280,000

Jun 1983

90,021,000377,000

Jul 1983

90,437,000416,000

Aug 1983

90,129,000-308,000

Sep 1983

91,247,0001,118,000

Oct 1983

91,520,000273,000

Nov 1983

91,875,000355,000

Dec 1983

92,230,000355,000

Jan 1984

92,673,000443,000

Feb 1984

93,157,000484,000

Mar 1984

93,429,000272,000

Apr 1984

93,792,000363,000

May 1984

94,098,000306,000

Jun 1984

94,479,000381,000

Jul 1984

94,789,000310,000

Aug 1984

95,032,000243,000

Sep 1984

95,344,000312,000

Oct 1984

95,629,000285,000

Nov 1984

95,982,000353,000

Dec 1984

96,107,000125,000

Jan 1985

96,372,000265,000

Feb 1985

96,503,000131,000

Mar 1985

96,842,000339,000

Apr 1985

97,038,000196,000

May 1985

97,312,000274,000

Jun 1985

97,459,000147,000

Jul 1985

97,648,000189,000

Aug 1985

97,840,000192,000

Sep 1985

98,045,000205,000

Oct 1985

98,233,000188,000

Nov 1985

98,443,000210,000

Dec 1985

98,609,000166,000

Jan 1986

98,732,000123,000

Feb 1986

98,847,000115,000

Mar 1986

98,934,00087,000

Apr 1986

99,121,000187,000

May 1986

99,248,000127,000

Jun 1986

99,155,000-93,000

Jul 1986

99,473,000318,000

Aug 1986

99,588,000115,000

Sep 1986

99,934,000346,000

Oct 1986

100,121,000187,000

Nov 1986

100,308,000187,000

Dec 1986

100,509,000201,000

Jan 1987

100,678,000169,000

Feb 1987

100,919,000241,000

Mar 1987

101,164,000245,000

Apr 1987

101,499,000335,000

May 1987

101,728,000229,000

Jun 1987

101,900,000172,000

Jul 1987

102,247,000347,000

Aug 1987

102,420,000173,000

Sep 1987

102,647,000227,000

Oct 1987

103,138,000491,000

Nov 1987

103,372,000234,000

Dec 1987

103,661,000289,000

Jan 1988

103,753,00092,000

Feb 1988

104,214,000461,000

Mar 1988

104,489,000275,000

Apr 1988

104,732,000243,000

May 1988

104,962,000230,000

Jun 1988

105,326,000364,000

Jul 1988

105,550,000224,000

Aug 1988

105,674,000124,000

Sep 1988

106,013,000339,000

Oct 1988

106,276,000263,000

Nov 1988

106,617,000341,000

Dec 1988

106,898,000281,000

Jan 1989

107,161,000263,000

Feb 1989

107,427,000266,000

Mar 1989

107,621,000194,000

Apr 1989

107,791,000170,000

May 1989

107,913,000122,000

Jun 1989

108,027,000114,000

Jul 1989

108,069,00042,000

Aug 1989

108,120,00051,000

Sep 1989

108,369,000249,000

Oct 1989

108,476,000107,000

Nov 1989

108,752,000276,000

Dec 1989

108,836,00084,000

Jan 1990

109,199,000363,000

Feb 1990

109,435,000236,000

Mar 1990

109,644,000209,000

Apr 1990

109,686,00042,000

May 1990

109,839,000153,000

Jun 1990

109,856,00017,000

Jul 1990

109,824,000-32,000

Aug 1990

109,616,000-208,000

Sep 1990

109,518,000-98,000

Oct 1990

109,367,000-151,000

Nov 1990

109,214,000-153,000

Dec 1990

109,166,000-48,000

Jan 1991

109,055,000-111,000

Feb 1991

108,734,000-321,000

Mar 1991

108,574,000-160,000

Apr 1991

108,364,000-210,000

May 1991

108,249,000-115,000

Jun 1991

108,334,00085,000

Jul 1991

108,292,000-42,000

Aug 1991

108,310,00018,000

Sep 1991

108,336,00026,000

Oct 1991

108,357,00021,000

Nov 1991

108,296,000-61,000

Dec 1991

108,328,00032,000

Jan 1992

108,369,00041,000

Feb 1992

108,311,000-58,000

Mar 1992

108,365,00054,000

Apr 1992

108,519,000154,000

May 1992

108,649,000130,000

Jun 1992

108,715,00066,000

Jul 1992

108,793,00078,000

Aug 1992

108,925,000132,000

Sep 1992

108,959,00034,000

Oct 1992

109,139,000180,000

Nov 1992

109,272,000133,000

Dec 1992

109,495,000223,000

Jan 1993

109,794,000299,000

Feb 1993

110,044,000250,000

Mar 1993

109,994,000-50,000

Apr 1993

110,296,000302,000

May 1993

110,568,000272,000

Jun 1993

110,749,000181,000

Jul 1993

111,055,000306,000

Aug 1993

111,206,000151,000

Sep 1993

111,448,000242,000

Oct 1993

111,733,000285,000

Nov 1993

111,984,000251,000

Dec 1993

112,314,000330,000

Jan 1994

112,595,000281,000

Feb 1994

112,781,000186,000

Mar 1994

113,242,000461,000

Apr 1994

113,586,000344,000

May 1994

113,921,000335,000

Jun 1994

114,238,000317,000

Jul 1994

114,610,000372,000

Aug 1994

114,896,000286,000

Sep 1994

115,247,000351,000

Oct 1994

115,458,000211,000

Nov 1994

115,869,000411,000

Dec 1994

116,165,000296,000

Jan 1995

116,501,000336,000

Feb 1995

116,697,000196,000

Mar 1995

116,907,000210,000

Apr 1995

117,069,000162,000

May 1995

117,049,000-20,000

Jun 1995

117,286,000237,000

Jul 1995

117,380,00094,000

Aug 1995

117,634,000254,000

Sep 1995

117,875,000241,000

Oct 1995

118,031,000156,000

Nov 1995

118,175,000144,000

Dec 1995

118,320,000145,000

Jan 1996

118,316,000-4,000

Feb 1996

118,739,000423,000

Mar 1996

118,993,000254,000

Apr 1996

119,158,000165,000

May 1996

119,486,000328,000

Jun 1996

119,769,000283,000

Jul 1996

120,015,000246,000

Aug 1996

120,199,000184,000

Sep 1996

120,410,000211,000

Oct 1996

120,665,000255,000

Nov 1996

120,961,000296,000

Dec 1996

121,143,000182,000

Jan 1997

121,363,000220,000

Feb 1997

121,675,000312,000

Mar 1997

121,990,000315,000

Apr 1997

122,286,000296,000

May 1997

122,546,000260,000

Jun 1997

122,814,000268,000

Jul 1997

123,111,000297,000

Aug 1997

123,093,000-18,000

Sep 1997

123,585,000492,000

Oct 1997

123,929,000344,000

Nov 1997

124,235,000306,000

Dec 1997

124,549,000314,000

Jan 1998

124,812,000263,000

Feb 1998

125,016,000204,000

Mar 1998

125,164,000148,000

Apr 1998

125,442,000278,000

May 1998

125,844,000402,000

Jun 1998

126,076,000232,000

Jul 1998

126,205,000129,000

Aug 1998

126,544,000339,000

Sep 1998

126,752,000208,000

Oct 1998

126,954,000202,000

Nov 1998

127,231,000277,000

Dec 1998

127,596,000365,000

Jan 1999

127,702,000106,000

Feb 1999

128,120,000418,000

Mar 1999

128,227,000107,000

Apr 1999

128,597,000370,000

May 1999

128,808,000211,000

Jun 1999

129,089,000281,000

Jul 1999

129,414,000325,000

Aug 1999

129,569,000155,000

Sep 1999

129,772,000203,000

Oct 1999

130,177,000405,000

Nov 1999

130,466,000289,000

Dec 1999

130,772,000306,000

Jan 2000

131,005,000233,000

Feb 2000

131,124,000119,000

Mar 2000

131,596,000472,000

Apr 2000

131,888,000292,000

May 2000

132,105,000217,000

Jun 2000

132,061,000-44,000

Jul 2000

132,236,000175,000

Aug 2000

132,230,000-6,000

Sep 2000

132,353,000123,000

Oct 2000

132,351,000-2,000

Nov 2000

132,556,000205,000

Dec 2000

132,709,000153,000

Jan 2001

132,698,000-11,000

Feb 2001

132,789,00091,000

Mar 2001

132,747,000-42,000

Apr 2001

132,463,000-284,000

May 2001

132,410,000-53,000

Jun 2001

132,299,000-111,000

Jul 2001

132,177,000-122,000

Aug 2001

132,028,000-149,000

Sep 2001

131,771,000-257,000

Oct 2001

131,454,000-317,000

Nov 2001

131,142,000-312,000

Dec 2001

130,982,000-160,000

Jan 2002

130,852,000-130,000

Feb 2002

130,736,000-116,000

Mar 2002

130,717,000-19,000

Apr 2002

130,623,000-94,000

May 2002

130,634,00011,000

Jun 2002

130,684,00050,000

Jul 2002

130,590,000-94,000

Aug 2002

130,587,000-3,000

Sep 2002

130,501,000-86,000

Oct 2002

130,628,000127,000

Nov 2002

130,615,000-13,000

Dec 2002

130,472,000-143,000

Jan 2003

130,580,000108,000

Feb 2003

130,444,000-136,000

Mar 2003

130,232,000-212,000

Apr 2003

130,177,000-55,000

May 2003

130,196,00019,000

Jun 2003

130,194,000-2,000

Jul 2003

130,191,000-3,000

Aug 2003

130,149,000-42,000

Sep 2003

130,254,000105,000

Oct 2003

130,454,000200,000

Nov 2003

130,474,00020,000

Dec 2003

130,588,000114,000

Jan 2004

130,769,000181,000

Feb 2004

130,825,00056,000

Mar 2004

131,142,000317,000

Apr 2004

131,411,000269,000

May 2004

131,694,000283,000

Jun 2004

131,793,00099,000

Jul 2004

131,848,00055,000

Aug 2004

131,937,00089,000

Sep 2004

132,093,000156,000

Oct 2004

132,447,000354,000

Nov 2004

132,503,00056,000

Dec 2004

132,624,000121,000

Jan 2005

132,774,000150,000

Feb 2005

133,032,000258,000

Mar 2005

133,156,000124,000

Apr 2005

133,518,000362,000

May 2005

133,690,000172,000

Jun 2005

133,942,000252,000

Jul 2005

134,296,000354,000

Aug 2005

134,498,000202,000

Sep 2005

134,566,00068,000

Oct 2005

134,655,00089,000

Nov 2005

134,993,000338,000

Dec 2005

135,149,000156,000

Jan 2006

135,429,000280,000

Feb 2006

135,737,000308,000

Mar 2006

136,047,000310,000

Apr 2006

136,205,000158,000

May 2006

136,244,00039,000

Jun 2006

136,325,00081,000

Jul 2006

136,520,000195,000

Aug 2006

136,694,000174,000

Sep 2006

136,843,000149,000

Oct 2006

136,852,0009,000

Nov 2006

137,063,000211,000

Dec 2006

137,249,000186,000

Jan 2007

137,477,000228,000

Feb 2007

137,558,00081,000

Mar 2007

137,793,000235,000

Apr 2007

137,842,00049,000

May 2007

137,993,000151,000

Jun 2007

138,069,00076,000

Jul 2007

138,038,000-31,000

Aug 2007

138,015,000-23,000

Sep 2007

138,095,00080,000

Oct 2007

138,174,00079,000

Nov 2007

138,284,000110,000

Dec 2007

138,392,000108,000

Jan 2008

138,403,00011,000

Feb 2008

138,324,000-79,000

Mar 2008

138,275,000-49,000

Apr 2008

138,035,000-240,000

May 2008

137,858,000-177,000

Jun 2008

137,687,000-171,000

Jul 2008

137,491,000-196,000

Aug 2008

137,213,000-278,000

Sep 2008

136,753,000-460,000

Oct 2008

136,272,000-481,000

Nov 2008

135,545,000-727,000

Dec 2008

134,839,000-706,000

Jan 2009

134,055,000-784,000

Feb 2009

133,312,000-743,000

Mar 2009

132,512,000-800,000

Apr 2009

131,817,000-695,000

May 2009

131,475,000-342,000

Jun 2009

131,008,000-467,000

Jul 2009

130,668,000-340,000

Aug 2009

130,485,000-183,000

Sep 2009

130,244,000-241,000

Oct 2009

130,045,000-199,000

Nov 2009

130,057,00012,000

Dec 2009

129,788,000-269,000

Jan 2010

129,790,0002,000

Feb 2010

129,698,000-92,000

Mar 2010

129,879,000181,000

Apr 2010

130,110,000231,000

May 2010

130,650,000540,000

Jun 2010

130,511,000-139,000

Jul 2010

130,427,000-84,000

Aug 2010

130,422,000-5,000

Sep 2010

130,357,000-65,000

Oct 2010

130,625,000268,000

Nov 2010

130,750,000125,000

Dec 2010

130,822,00072,000

Jan 2011

130,841,00019,000

Feb 2011

131,053,000212,000

Mar 2011

131,288,000235,000

Apr 2011

131,602,000314,000

May 2011

131,703,000101,000

Jun 2011

131,939,000236,000

Jul 2011

131,999,00060,000

Aug 2011

132,125,000126,000

Sep 2011

132,358,000233,000

Oct 2011

132,562,000204,000

Nov 2011

132,694,000132,000

Dec 2011

132,896,000202,000

Jan 2012

133,250,000354,000

Feb 2012

133,512,000262,000

Mar 2012

133,752,000240,000

Apr 2012

133,834,00082,000

May 2012

133,934,000100,000

Jun 2012

134,007,00073,000

Jul 2012

134,159,000152,000

Aug 2012

134,331,000172,000

Sep 2012

134,518,000187,000

Oct 2012

134,677,000159,000

Nov 2012

134,833,000156,000

Dec 2012

135,072,000239,000

Jan 2013

135,263,000191,000

Feb 2013

135,541,000278,000

Mar 2013

135,680,000139,000

Apr 2013

135,871,000191,000

May 2013

136,093,000222,000

Jun 2013

136,274,000181,000

Jul 2013

136,386,000112,000

Aug 2013

136,628,000242,000

Sep 2013

136,815,000187,000

Oct 2013

137,040,000225,000

Nov 2013

137,304,000264,000

Dec 2013

137,373,00069,000

Jan 2014

137,548,000175,000

Feb 2014

137,714,000166,000

Mar 2014

137,968,000254,000

Apr 2014

138,293,000325,000

May 2014

138,511,000218,000

Jun 2014

138,837,000326,000

Jul 2014

139,069,000232,000

Aug 2014

139,257,000188,000

Sep 2014

139,566,000309,000

Oct 2014

139,818,000252,000

Nov 2014

140,109,000291,000

Dec 2014

140,377,000268,000

Jan 2015

140,568,000191,000

Feb 2015

140,839,000271,000

Mar 2015

140,910,00071,000

Apr 2015

141,194,000284,000

May 2015

141,525,000331,000

Jun 2015

141,699,000174,000

Jul 2015

142,001,000302,000

Aug 2015

142,126,000125,000

Sep 2015

142,281,000155,000

Oct 2015

142,587,000306,000

Nov 2015

142,824,000237,000

Dec 2015

143,097,000273,000

Jan 2016

143,205,000108,000

Feb 2016

143,417,000212,000

Mar 2016

143,654,000237,000

Apr 2016

143,851,000197,000

May 2016

143,892,00041,000

Jun 2016

144,150,000258,000

Jul 2016

144,521,000371,000

Aug 2016

144,664,000143,000

Sep 2016

144,953,000289,000

Oct 2016

145,071,000118,000

Nov 2016

145,201,000130,000

Dec 2016

145,415,000214,000

Jan 2017

145,612,000197,000

Feb 2017

145,795,000183,000

Mar 2017

145,934,000139,000

Apr 2017

146,154,000220,000

May 2017

146,295,000141,000

Jun 2017

146,506,000211,000

Jul 2017

146,734,000228,000

Aug 2017

146,924,000190,000

Sep 2017

146,966,00042,000

Oct 2017

147,215,000249,000

Nov 2017

147,411,000196,000

Dec 2017

147,590,000179,000

Jan 2018

147,671,00081,000

Feb 2018

148,049,000378,000

Mar 2018

148,244,000195,000

Apr 2018

148,397,000153,000

May 2018

148,667,000270,000

Jun 2018

148,881,000214,000

Jul 2018

149,030,000149,000

Aug 2018

149,259,000229,000

Sep 2018

149,364,000105,000

Oct 2018

149,576,000212,000

Nov 2018

149,668,00092,000

Dec 2018

149,908,000240,000

Jan 2019

150,145,000237,000

Feb 2019

150,095,000-50,000

Mar 2019

150,263,000168,000

Apr 2019

150,482,000219,000

May 2019

150,545,00063,000

Jun 2019

150,720,000175,000

Jul 2019

150,913,000193,000

Aug 2019

151,108,000195,000

Sep 2019

151,329,000221,000

Oct 2019

151,524,000195,000

Nov 2019

151,758,000234,000

Dec 2019

151,919,000161,000

Jan 2020

152,234,000315,000

Feb 2020

152,523,000289,000

Mar 2020

150,840,000-1,683,000

Apr 2020

130,161,000-20,679,000

May 2020

132,994,0002,833,000

Jun 2020

137,840,0004,846,000

Jul 2020

139,566,0001,726,000

Aug 2020

141,149,0001,583,000

Sep 2020

141,865,000716,000

Oct 2020

142,545,000680,000

Nov 2020

142,809,000264,000

Dec 2020

142,582,000-227,000
Unemployment rates for selected groups, February, April, and December 2020
Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicityFebruary 2020April 2020December 2020

Total, 16 years and older

3.514.86.7

White

3.014.16.0

Black or African American

6.016.79.9

Asian

2.414.55.9

Hispanic or Latino

4.418.99.3
Percent change in consumer prices for selected items in April 2020, seasonally adjusted
Expenditure categoryPercent change

Car and truck rental (1998)

-16.6

Airline fares (1989)

-15.2

Hotel and motel lodging (1967)

-8.1

Women’s footwear (1978)

-5.2

Full service meals and snacks (1998)

-0.3

Carbonated drinks (1978)

4.5

Household paper products (1997)

4.5

Cookies (1978)

5.1

Chicken (2004)

5.8