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Topic Archives: Geographic Information

Celebrating African American History Month

In honor of African American History Month, we’d like to highlight some employment statistics about Black or African American men and women.

Historically, the employment–population ratio for Black men has been considerably lower than the rate for men overall. For example, 60.0 percent of Black men were employed in January 2022, 5.1 percentage points lower than the employment–population ratio for men overall. By contrast, the employment–population ratios for Black women and for women overall have historically been much closer. In January 2022, the ratio for Black women was 55.7 percent, 1.1 percentage points higher than the ratio for women overall.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment–population ratio for Black men fell by 10.2 percentage points between February 2020 and April 2020 to 50.4 percent. This was the lowest in the history of the data, going back to 1972. Over the same period, the ratio for men overall fell by a slightly smaller amount—9.6 percentage points—to 57.2 percent. However, between April 2020 and January 2022, the ratio for Black men has risen by 9.6 percentage points, while the ratio for men overall has risen by a smaller amount, 7.9 percentage points.

Between February 2020 and April 2020, the employment–population ratio for Black women fell by 11.0 percentage points, a greater decline than the 10.1 percentage points for women overall. Since April 2020, the measure for Black women has risen less than that for women overall (8.3 percentage points versus 8.8 percentage points).

Employment–population ratios of Blacks or African Americans and the total population by sex, January 1972–January 2022, seasonally adjusted

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

The disparity in the recovery of the employment–population ratio between men and women may partially reflect the industries in which they are employed.

In 2021, 14.9 percent of employed Black men worked in transportation and utilities, a larger share than for men overall (8.7 percent). Within transportation and utilities, Black men were particularly likely to work in couriers and messengers and in warehousing and storage; these industries have fully recovered the jobs they lost between February 2020 and April 2020 and have continued to add jobs.

Percent distribution of employed Blacks or African Americans and the total workforce by selected  industry and sex, 2021 annual averages

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

In 2021, 40.1 percent of employed Black women worked in education and health services, a larger share than for women overall (36.0 percent). Employment in the education and health services industry is still 2.6 percent below its February 2020 level. Within this broad industry, Black women were especially likely to work in nursing and residential care facilities, where employment is 12.1 percent below its level before the pandemic.

We have more information about the labor force characteristics of Black men and women on our labor force demographics page.

This is just a sample of the information available on the labor force status of African Americans. Explore for yourself some of our other resources to expand your knowledge.

Employment–population ratios of Blacks or African Americans and the total population by sex, January 1972–January 2022, seasonally adjusted
MonthTotal menTotal womenBlack menBlack women

Jan 1972

74.6%40.8%65.1%43.1%

Feb 1972

74.640.865.742.9

Mar 1972

74.941.066.742.9

Apr 1972

74.940.967.143.0

May 1972

74.941.067.043.2

Jun 1972

75.140.968.542.9

Jul 1972

75.140.966.842.6

Aug 1972

75.341.067.242.4

Sep 1972

75.140.966.842.7

Oct 1972

75.040.966.642.3

Nov 1972

75.141.166.843.7

Dec 1972

75.441.367.243.9

Jan 1973

75.141.066.743.1

Feb 1973

75.441.667.843.8

Mar 1973

75.741.768.043.8

Apr 1973

75.541.967.543.5

May 1973

75.342.167.043.3

Jun 1973

75.642.367.143.1

Jul 1973

75.742.167.444.5

Aug 1973

75.442.167.444.4

Sep 1973

75.442.267.243.9

Oct 1973

75.742.468.044.4

Nov 1973

75.842.667.944.2

Dec 1973

75.842.568.344.0

Jan 1974

76.042.368.644.0

Feb 1974

75.842.667.643.9

Mar 1974

75.542.767.042.9

Apr 1974

75.142.766.643.7

May 1974

75.342.666.643.9

Jun 1974

75.042.765.743.8

Jul 1974

74.843.065.643.6

Aug 1974

74.742.865.243.9

Sep 1974

74.642.764.844.3

Oct 1974

74.442.665.343.5

Nov 1974

74.142.364.142.3

Dec 1974

73.442.163.042.0

Jan 1975

72.642.062.141.8

Feb 1975

72.241.761.441.4

Mar 1975

71.941.760.641.6

Apr 1975

71.641.859.741.4

May 1975

71.741.960.441.5

Jun 1975

71.341.960.142.0

Jul 1975

71.742.160.841.7

Aug 1975

71.842.260.741.4

Sep 1975

71.642.260.741.4

Oct 1975

71.542.360.241.6

Nov 1975

71.442.260.141.8

Dec 1975

71.442.459.742.1

Jan 1976

71.842.760.242.6

Feb 1976

71.942.860.142.6

Mar 1976

71.943.060.043.8

Apr 1976

72.243.160.943.4

May 1976

72.243.460.943.1

Jun 1976

71.843.359.942.8

Jul 1976

72.143.560.542.4

Aug 1976

72.343.361.142.5

Sep 1976

72.143.260.842.3

Oct 1976

72.143.260.642.2

Nov 1976

72.043.660.943.3

Dec 1976

72.043.661.242.7

Jan 1977

72.143.661.542.5

Feb 1977

72.243.861.842.5

Mar 1977

72.344.061.742.8

Apr 1977

72.644.262.343.1

May 1977

72.644.660.943.7

Jun 1977

72.844.462.043.3

Jul 1977

72.844.461.142.9

Aug 1977

72.944.660.843.5

Sep 1977

72.844.860.343.8

Oct 1977

73.244.860.643.5

Nov 1977

73.545.161.643.3

Dec 1977

73.645.362.645.0

Jan 1978

73.545.562.544.8

Feb 1978

73.445.762.845.4

Mar 1978

73.345.863.345.4

Apr 1978

73.646.263.245.6

May 1978

73.846.363.345.7

Jun 1978

74.146.563.546.1

Jul 1978

73.846.363.745.3

Aug 1978

73.946.462.646.6

Sep 1978

73.746.763.646.7

Oct 1978

73.847.063.846.5

Nov 1978

74.147.063.546.0

Dec 1978

73.947.163.546.0

Jan 1979

74.247.163.245.8

Feb 1979

74.347.363.145.8

Mar 1979

74.047.563.246.6

Apr 1979

73.947.162.945.9

May 1979

73.847.263.445.4

Jun 1979

74.047.263.845.8

Jul 1979

73.947.563.946.3

Aug 1979

73.747.364.245.3

Sep 1979

73.947.664.445.9

Oct 1979

73.547.763.746.4

Nov 1979

73.447.962.946.5

Dec 1979

73.548.062.646.6

Jan 1980

73.348.061.946.4

Feb 1980

73.447.961.646.3

Mar 1980

73.047.861.345.8

Apr 1980

72.347.760.945.6

May 1980

71.947.660.345.7

Jun 1980

71.547.559.845.4

Jul 1980

71.447.559.945.7

Aug 1980

71.447.559.746.0

Sep 1980

71.447.659.545.7

Oct 1980

71.647.660.045.4

Nov 1980

71.647.760.145.3

Dec 1980

71.747.659.945.2

Jan 1981

71.747.860.345.7

Feb 1981

71.648.059.845.2

Mar 1981

71.848.160.245.2

Apr 1981

72.148.360.346.3

May 1981

71.948.460.545.2

Jun 1981

71.148.158.445.1

Jul 1981

71.548.158.745.0

Aug 1981

71.448.158.244.3

Sep 1981

71.147.558.944.6

Oct 1981

70.847.958.445.0

Nov 1981

70.547.957.545.6

Dec 1981

70.047.657.544.9

Jan 1982

69.947.757.145.2

Feb 1982

69.947.757.244.5

Mar 1982

69.647.756.844.2

Apr 1982

69.547.656.643.7

May 1982

69.747.856.444.0

Jun 1982

68.947.855.544.2

Jul 1982

68.847.856.144.0

Aug 1982

68.847.856.044.3

Sep 1982

68.647.855.144.4

Oct 1982

68.447.555.044.0

Nov 1982

68.247.555.543.8

Dec 1982

68.047.554.644.1

Jan 1983

67.947.555.043.8

Feb 1983

67.847.555.344.5

Mar 1983

67.847.555.444.0

Apr 1983

68.047.655.243.8

May 1983

68.147.555.044.1

Jun 1983

69.047.756.143.7

Jul 1983

69.248.056.744.4

Aug 1983

69.248.456.244.3

Sep 1983

69.348.756.844.8

Oct 1983

69.448.557.143.9

Nov 1983

69.948.758.044.1

Dec 1983

69.948.858.044.1

Jan 1984

70.048.758.144.4

Feb 1984

70.349.059.445.7

Mar 1984

70.349.058.545.6

Apr 1984

70.449.357.846.1

May 1984

70.749.959.346.4

Jun 1984

71.249.758.847.3

Jul 1984

70.849.858.446.9

Aug 1984

70.749.559.547.4

Sep 1984

70.949.659.847.5

Oct 1984

70.949.660.247.3

Nov 1984

71.049.760.647.9

Dec 1984

71.049.960.048.0

Jan 1985

70.950.159.848.4

Feb 1985

70.850.359.647.5

Mar 1985

71.050.559.648.2

Apr 1985

71.050.459.748.5

May 1985

71.150.259.948.0

Jun 1985

70.650.160.148.6

Jul 1985

70.750.259.947.9

Aug 1985

70.950.260.947.8

Sep 1985

71.050.660.347.7

Oct 1985

71.050.759.948.1

Nov 1985

71.050.859.448.0

Dec 1985

71.050.960.148.6

Jan 1986

71.350.960.748.5

Feb 1986

70.950.860.548.5

Mar 1986

70.951.061.048.9

Apr 1986

70.951.060.949.2

May 1986

70.851.261.549.1

Jun 1986

70.951.561.048.9

Jul 1986

70.951.660.648.7

Aug 1986

70.951.759.448.2

Sep 1986

70.951.759.948.8

Oct 1986

70.951.860.349.2

Nov 1986

71.151.760.549.0

Dec 1986

71.251.761.248.7

Jan 1987

71.351.761.248.8

Feb 1987

71.351.961.549.4

Mar 1987

71.252.161.649.2

Apr 1987

71.352.361.649.5

May 1987

71.552.661.349.9

Jun 1987

71.352.561.750.2

Jul 1987

71.452.762.250.7

Aug 1987

71.652.962.951.3

Sep 1987

71.652.662.450.5

Oct 1987

71.752.862.651.5

Nov 1987

71.752.962.751.4

Dec 1987

71.853.162.551.5

Jan 1988

71.953.162.851.2

Feb 1988

72.053.162.150.9

Mar 1988

71.653.261.550.6

Apr 1988

72.253.262.950.1

May 1988

72.052.962.550.1

Jun 1988

72.153.362.550.1

Jul 1988

72.253.362.651.9

Aug 1988

72.253.563.351.4

Sep 1988

72.153.563.051.4

Oct 1988

72.053.863.151.8

Nov 1988

72.154.162.852.1

Dec 1988

72.054.162.952.4

Jan 1989

72.254.463.051.9

Feb 1989

72.454.262.852.0

Mar 1989

72.654.263.151.9

Apr 1989

72.554.262.051.8

May 1989

72.454.262.652.3

Jun 1989

72.854.163.351.6

Jul 1989

72.754.263.752.3

Aug 1989

72.654.463.052.0

Sep 1989

72.054.562.352.0

Oct 1989

72.454.362.451.7

Nov 1989

72.354.762.352.0

Dec 1989

72.354.462.251.9

Jan 1990

72.654.662.852.9

Feb 1990

72.654.563.152.9

Mar 1990

72.654.663.252.8

Apr 1990

72.354.563.252.5

May 1990

72.454.663.352.9

Jun 1990

72.254.463.152.1

Jul 1990

72.154.362.551.4

Aug 1990

71.954.462.451.2

Sep 1990

71.654.262.051.0

Oct 1990

71.654.262.051.2

Nov 1990

71.454.062.051.2

Dec 1990

71.353.961.850.9

Jan 1991

71.053.861.851.1

Feb 1991

70.753.861.750.8

Mar 1991

70.653.762.450.9

Apr 1991

70.754.161.551.1

May 1991

70.453.660.150.9

Jun 1991

70.453.761.150.6

Jul 1991

70.353.661.351.0

Aug 1991

70.253.560.950.3

Sep 1991

70.353.761.951.2

Oct 1991

70.153.761.149.6

Nov 1991

70.053.661.049.7

Dec 1991

69.753.560.750.3

Jan 1992

69.853.860.750.3

Feb 1992

69.653.759.850.3

Mar 1992

69.853.859.850.4

Apr 1992

70.053.959.750.3

May 1992

69.953.859.750.4

Jun 1992

69.953.760.151.0

Jul 1992

70.053.860.051.3

Aug 1992

70.053.860.351.9

Sep 1992

69.953.760.151.4

Oct 1992

69.753.659.650.8

Nov 1992

69.753.760.050.4

Dec 1992

69.853.759.250.6

Jan 1993

69.853.759.949.5

Feb 1993

69.953.760.750.8

Mar 1993

69.953.959.350.5

Apr 1993

69.853.858.850.3

May 1993

70.154.160.250.9

Jun 1993

70.154.159.850.5

Jul 1993

70.254.160.750.7

Aug 1993

70.354.361.151.1

Sep 1993

70.054.260.051.3

Oct 1993

70.054.359.951.6

Nov 1993

70.154.459.551.8

Dec 1993

70.154.659.752.1

Jan 1994

70.254.959.451.5

Feb 1994

70.155.159.851.8

Mar 1994

70.054.960.551.9

Apr 1994

70.155.160.652.2

May 1994

70.355.461.351.7

Jun 1994

70.255.160.852.8

Jul 1994

70.155.260.352.8

Aug 1994

70.555.360.152.7

Sep 1994

70.655.461.052.7

Oct 1994

70.855.561.652.5

Nov 1994

71.055.661.752.3

Dec 1994

71.355.562.652.0

Jan 1995

71.255.562.352.5

Feb 1995

71.355.663.153.4

Mar 1995

71.355.663.353.2

Apr 1995

71.155.762.653.3

May 1995

70.555.661.753.7

Jun 1995

70.855.361.752.9

Jul 1995

70.755.660.852.6

Aug 1995

70.655.760.552.8

Sep 1995

70.855.661.252.5

Oct 1995

70.755.861.454.0

Nov 1995

70.355.961.355.5

Dec 1995

70.455.660.554.6

Jan 1996

70.555.561.054.1

Feb 1996

70.755.760.853.8

Mar 1996

70.755.860.754.1

Apr 1996

70.755.960.754.1

May 1996

70.855.861.354.6

Jun 1996

71.055.960.754.4

Jul 1996

71.156.161.354.7

Aug 1996

71.156.262.254.4

Sep 1996

71.156.460.854.2

Oct 1996

71.356.461.154.8

Nov 1996

70.956.561.154.8

Dec 1996

71.156.461.154.7

Jan 1997

71.056.460.555.0

Feb 1997

71.056.360.754.9

Mar 1997

71.256.660.355.5

Apr 1997

71.356.760.655.4

May 1997

71.556.760.955.1

Jun 1997

71.356.860.954.8

Jul 1997

71.457.061.855.9

Aug 1997

71.457.063.556.5

Sep 1997

71.357.062.456.4

Oct 1997

71.457.062.155.6

Nov 1997

71.757.062.055.8

Dec 1997

71.457.261.156.4

Jan 1998

71.557.062.056.5

Feb 1998

71.557.061.857.0

Mar 1998

71.457.162.757.1

Apr 1998

71.857.063.156.5

May 1998

71.757.162.656.0

Jun 1998

71.657.063.757.1

Jul 1998

71.557.062.857.0

Aug 1998

71.457.162.857.3

Sep 1998

71.657.362.957.0

Oct 1998

71.657.163.857.8

Nov 1998

71.857.163.158.1

Dec 1998

71.757.463.158.5

Jan 1999

71.957.464.058.7

Feb 1999

71.757.362.958.0

Mar 1999

71.757.362.958.1

Apr 1999

71.657.362.758.7

May 1999

71.757.563.658.4

Jun 1999

71.657.463.258.6

Jul 1999

71.657.462.258.7

Aug 1999

71.557.563.258.6

Sep 1999

71.657.462.958.9

Oct 1999

71.557.663.058.7

Nov 1999

71.757.662.958.8

Dec 1999

71.857.663.358.3

Jan 2000

72.257.661.259.0

Feb 2000

72.257.561.558.9

Mar 2000

72.257.561.258.9

Apr 2000

72.158.064.559.0

May 2000

71.957.563.358.8

Jun 2000

72.057.563.258.5

Jul 2000

71.657.363.258.1

Aug 2000

71.957.162.958.2

Sep 2000

71.757.462.958.1

Oct 2000

71.657.463.358.5

Nov 2000

71.757.563.758.7

Dec 2000

71.757.663.358.7

Jan 2001

71.857.663.758.1

Feb 2001

71.657.563.258.5

Mar 2001

71.457.762.658.7

Apr 2001

71.357.262.258.6

May 2001

71.157.262.158.6

Jun 2001

70.957.061.658.6

Jul 2001

70.957.062.158.5

Aug 2001

70.456.661.557.5

Sep 2001

70.856.762.557.0

Oct 2001

70.356.661.256.7

Nov 2001

70.056.660.956.2

Dec 2001

70.056.361.856.1

Jan 2002

69.756.262.055.9

Feb 2002

69.956.661.955.9

Mar 2002

69.856.461.755.3

Apr 2002

69.856.261.855.6

May 2002

70.156.162.555.5

Jun 2002

69.856.260.755.6

Jul 2002

69.756.161.055.3

Aug 2002

69.756.360.955.7

Sep 2002

70.056.461.456.5

Oct 2002

69.756.361.256.1

Nov 2002

69.256.259.055.9

Dec 2002

69.156.259.156.2

Jan 2003

68.956.559.656.4

Feb 2003

69.256.260.255.5

Mar 2003

68.956.359.256.1

Apr 2003

69.056.359.556.1

May 2003

68.856.359.156.8

Jun 2003

68.756.459.455.6

Jul 2003

68.656.159.655.4

Aug 2003

68.656.059.355.6

Sep 2003

68.955.759.555.6

Oct 2003

68.955.959.254.8

Nov 2003

69.056.059.755.7

Dec 2003

69.255.760.054.3

Jan 2004

69.455.760.355.4

Feb 2004

69.156.059.455.7

Mar 2004

69.055.959.755.8

Apr 2004

69.056.058.956.0

May 2004

68.956.159.255.0

Jun 2004

69.256.059.454.7

Jul 2004

69.456.058.555.9

Aug 2004

69.356.059.055.8

Sep 2004

69.155.959.355.6

Oct 2004

69.255.959.555.5

Nov 2004

69.456.059.455.3

Dec 2004

69.256.158.955.4

Jan 2005

69.156.158.855.3

Feb 2005

69.256.058.655.0

Mar 2005

69.456.059.455.0

Apr 2005

69.656.260.255.2

May 2005

69.856.260.855.6

Jun 2005

69.856.160.955.8

Jul 2005

69.856.261.856.0

Aug 2005

69.956.461.255.9

Sep 2005

69.756.460.756.1

Oct 2005

69.756.460.757.0

Nov 2005

69.656.359.356.1

Dec 2005

69.756.360.055.9

Jan 2006

70.056.360.055.9

Feb 2006

70.056.460.756.4

Mar 2006

70.256.461.156.4

Apr 2006

70.056.460.956.0

May 2006

70.056.661.156.6

Jun 2006

70.056.760.356.2

Jul 2006

69.656.860.056.2

Aug 2006

69.956.860.357.1

Sep 2006

70.256.560.056.1

Oct 2006

70.256.860.657.2

Nov 2006

70.256.860.957.1

Dec 2006

70.456.961.657.2

Jan 2007

70.356.861.857.5

Feb 2007

70.156.861.257.2

Mar 2007

70.256.960.456.9

Apr 2007

70.056.360.656.7

May 2007

69.956.660.356.5

Jun 2007

69.856.759.956.7

Jul 2007

69.656.661.456.6

Aug 2007

69.456.561.756.3

Sep 2007

69.556.860.956.4

Oct 2007

69.356.559.856.3

Nov 2007

69.656.660.355.7

Dec 2007

69.456.559.856.1

Jan 2008

69.656.660.956.1

Feb 2008

69.556.560.856.3

Mar 2008

69.356.560.156.6

Apr 2008

69.256.660.256.8

May 2008

69.056.559.656.0

Jun 2008

68.856.459.755.9

Jul 2008

68.656.359.056.1

Aug 2008

68.356.159.955.6

Sep 2008

68.156.158.554.9

Oct 2008

67.856.157.855.1

Nov 2008

67.355.856.755.1

Dec 2008

66.755.656.455.3

Jan 2009

66.255.255.654.8

Feb 2009

65.755.254.953.8

Mar 2009

65.155.054.253.5

Apr 2009

65.054.953.853.4

May 2009

64.854.753.953.0

Jun 2009

64.654.553.553.2

Jul 2009

64.554.553.953.2

Aug 2009

64.254.353.252.6

Sep 2009

63.953.952.851.9

Oct 2009

63.753.752.851.3

Nov 2009

63.653.852.752.0

Dec 2009

63.353.552.751.3

Jan 2010

63.353.952.551.6

Feb 2010

63.453.852.551.8

Mar 2010

63.653.752.551.6

Apr 2010

64.053.753.351.5

May 2010

63.953.654.152.1

Jun 2010

63.853.652.852.2

Jul 2010

63.953.553.251.5

Aug 2010

63.953.553.451.3

Sep 2010

63.853.552.851.2

Oct 2010

63.653.353.451.5

Nov 2010

63.453.453.151.8

Dec 2010

63.653.353.251.8

Jan 2011

63.753.352.651.3

Feb 2011

63.853.252.751.2

Mar 2011

63.853.452.650.9

Apr 2011

63.753.352.550.4

May 2011

63.853.252.050.4

Jun 2011

63.753.052.650.0

Jul 2011

63.653.152.449.9

Aug 2011

63.953.152.550.6

Sep 2011

63.953.253.151.5

Oct 2011

63.953.353.551.7

Nov 2011

64.353.253.050.8

Dec 2011

64.453.154.450.6

Jan 2012

64.352.955.250.9

Feb 2012

64.353.154.052.2

Mar 2012

64.353.254.152.4

Apr 2012

64.353.053.852.6

May 2012

64.353.154.252.0

Jun 2012

64.453.254.352.1

Jul 2012

64.353.053.852.0

Aug 2012

64.153.153.752.2

Sep 2012

64.553.353.652.4

Oct 2012

64.753.354.052.9

Nov 2012

64.653.254.352.2

Dec 2012

64.653.254.051.7

Jan 2013

64.553.054.852.1

Feb 2013

64.553.055.251.6

Mar 2013

64.552.955.351.6

Apr 2013

64.453.254.452.4

May 2013

64.453.254.352.8

Jun 2013

64.553.253.952.0

Jul 2013

64.453.454.852.4

Aug 2013

64.353.554.052.1

Sep 2013

64.453.354.752.1

Oct 2013

64.052.954.451.5

Nov 2013

64.553.154.651.7

Dec 2013

64.553.254.452.1

Jan 2014

64.553.454.452.4

Feb 2014

64.353.654.253.3

Mar 2014

64.853.455.252.8

Apr 2014

64.653.555.452.7

May 2014

64.653.555.352.7

Jun 2014

64.953.556.153.0

Jul 2014

65.053.456.353.0

Aug 2014

65.053.456.352.1

Sep 2014

65.253.457.053.0

Oct 2014

65.353.756.953.1

Nov 2014

65.153.756.253.3

Dec 2014

65.353.656.753.4

Jan 2015

65.353.756.453.2

Feb 2015

65.353.656.753.3

Mar 2015

65.353.656.953.5

Apr 2015

65.553.658.554.2

May 2015

65.553.857.654.2

Jun 2015

65.353.857.154.8

Jul 2015

65.453.657.254.8

Aug 2015

65.453.857.254.8

Sep 2015

65.353.557.154.5

Oct 2015

65.353.757.254.9

Nov 2015

65.254.056.755.0

Dec 2015

65.554.157.955.1

Jan 2016

65.754.157.754.9

Feb 2016

65.954.158.254.5

Mar 2016

65.954.258.354.1

Apr 2016

65.854.058.253.8

May 2016

65.754.158.554.0

Jun 2016

65.953.958.554.1

Jul 2016

65.854.158.354.4

Aug 2016

65.954.158.555.6

Sep 2016

65.854.158.455.3

Oct 2016

65.754.158.055.3

Nov 2016

65.754.158.655.6

Dec 2016

65.754.158.755.7

Jan 2017

65.954.259.656.0

Feb 2017

65.954.459.055.9

Mar 2017

66.054.759.056.0

Apr 2017

66.254.659.855.9

May 2017

66.054.559.756.1

Jun 2017

66.154.659.855.9

Jul 2017

66.054.859.556.2

Aug 2017

66.054.658.955.9

Sep 2017

66.354.860.456.3

Oct 2017

66.054.558.956.2

Nov 2017

65.954.659.056.6

Dec 2017

66.154.559.456.8

Jan 2018

66.354.559.455.8

Feb 2018

66.654.761.456.3

Mar 2018

66.554.760.756.7

Apr 2018

66.554.760.356.0

May 2018

66.554.861.056.6

Jun 2018

66.354.959.757.2

Jul 2018

66.355.260.157.0

Aug 2018

66.154.860.456.1

Sep 2018

66.155.060.257.2

Oct 2018

66.255.160.257.1

Nov 2018

66.455.160.256.7

Dec 2018

66.255.259.656.4

Jan 2019

66.555.260.057.3

Feb 2019

66.555.360.056.7

Mar 2019

66.555.259.956.5

Apr 2019

66.455.260.356.8

May 2019

66.555.060.257.3

Jun 2019

66.655.160.056.7

Jul 2019

66.755.261.257.1

Aug 2019

66.655.460.757.1

Sep 2019

66.655.661.157.4

Oct 2019

66.555.760.957.3

Nov 2019

66.855.561.156.8

Dec 2019

66.755.761.057.9

Jan 2020

66.855.860.457.7

Feb 2020

66.855.960.658.4

Mar 2020

65.654.659.556.1

Apr 2020

57.245.850.447.4

May 2020

58.647.351.448.2

Jun 2020

60.249.551.949.9

Jul 2020

60.650.252.950.3

Aug 2020

62.051.354.151.0

Sep 2020

62.351.253.851.5

Oct 2020

63.052.155.052.5

Nov 2020

62.852.355.153.2

Dec 2020

62.952.255.552.6

Jan 2021

63.252.257.052.9

Feb 2021

63.252.556.452.5

Mar 2021

63.252.857.153.1

Apr 2021

63.452.857.353.6

May 2021

63.552.957.453.8

Jun 2021

63.552.958.353.9

Jul 2021

63.853.357.854.2

Aug 2021

64.153.457.754.8

Sep 2021

64.453.557.955.3

Oct 2021

64.653.658.454.5

Nov 2021

65.053.958.755.1

Dec 2021

65.154.358.255.0

Jan 2022

65.154.660.055.7
Percent distribution of employed Blacks or African Americans and the total workforce by selected industry and sex, 2021 annual averages
Selected industryTotal menTotal womenBlack menBlack women

Construction

12.4%1.7%7.2%0.7%

Manufacturing

12.96.011.25.3

Wholesale and retail trade

13.312.415.011.5

Transportation and utilities

8.73.214.95.3

Information

2.01.52.01.4

Financial activities

6.47.85.37.5

Professional and business services

13.711.411.58.9

Education and health services

11.036.013.640.1

Leisure and hospitality

7.79.08.37.8

Other services

4.35.24.13.9

Public administration

4.94.86.07.3

Note: Data do not sum to 100 percent because values are not shown for agriculture and related industries or for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

What Have You Been Looking for on the BLS Website?

In 2021, the BLS public website welcomed nearly 29 million users, who viewed just over 158 million pages. Wow, that’s a lot of data! It shows the extensive and growing interest in information about our economy. Let’s take a quick look back over the past year. What are the topics of interest? We see clear trends and a few surprises.

From its humble beginnings more than a quarter century ago, www.bls.gov has become the primary way we make the latest BLS data and analysis available to the public.

BLS website homepage, September 1995
First edition of the BLS website, 1995

Today, thousands of users get their first glimpse of the latest economic data through the website or through email alerts and tweets that link to the website. National economic news on employment, inflation, productivity, and other topics is first available on the website, with about 150 national releases each year. Not to be outdone, BLS regional office staff around the country last year posted nearly 1,000 regional and local news releases on the website.

And you came to check out those data—all 29 million of you.

Here’s a look at the five subject homepages that saw the greatest increase in page views from 2020 to 2021. You’ll note that all are timely topics.

  • The Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic was a special data collection effort. Information from this survey was first available late in 2020, so the 166-percent increase in page views in 2021 is not surprising, especially given the great interest in all COVID-19 information. Results from a second round of this survey, with updated questions, will be available February 9, 2022.
  • Information from the Consumer Price Index also had more than a 100-percent increase in page views from 2020 to 2021, 106 percent increase to be exact. This is not a surprise, given the significant rise in prices recently.
  • Interest in inflation throughout the supply chain also led to a 60-percent increase in page views for Producer Price Indexes data.
  • BLS has been collecting data on Work Stoppages (strikes and lockouts) for many years, but interest in these data grew in 2021, perhaps because of several high-profile stoppages. There was a 25-percent increase in page views for these data.
  • Rounding out the top five was an 18-percent increase in page views for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data. With record numbers of job openings and heightened interest in churn in the labor force, these data have garnered much attention recently. We also began publishing a news release on state data in 2021 to meet the growing need for geographic information on job openings and labor turnover.

Turning to analytical data, some of the most viewed pages were those focusing on fast growing industries, inflation at both the consumer and producer level, and the impact of COVID-19 on many aspects of the economy, such as unemployment and food prices. But viewers were also attracted to some unique topics:

  • The most read Commissioner’s Corner blog was about the 17-year cycle of cicadas, with a look at economic trends during past cicada invasions.
A cicada
A group of friends and family watching a football game on TV

We welcome our 29 million website visitors and encourage you to check back regularly. Your interests drive our commitment to provide timely research on relevant topics. There’s new content every business day, so you never know what new research may be right around the corner in 2022. It will all be at www.bls.gov. See you there!

BLS website homepage in 2022
BLS website homepage in 2022

It’s a Small Statistical World

BLS is one of several U.S. statistical agencies that follow consistent policies and share best practices. These agencies also frequently work with their statistical counterparts around the world to develop standards, share information, troubleshoot issues, and improve the quality of available data. At BLS, our Division of International Technical Cooperation coordinates these activities. The division helps to strengthen statistical development by organizing seminars, consultations, and meetings for international visitors with BLS staff. The division also provides BLS input on global statistical initiatives. Without missing a beat, most of these activities moved to virtual platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite some time-zone challenges, which often lead to early morning or late-night video meetings, BLS continues to play an active role on the world stage.

World map

Today I’m highlighting some recent international engagements, which have included our colleagues from Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. These events are often mutually beneficial, as they provide opportunities for BLS staff to learn more about the experiences of our international counterparts.

  • BLS staff met with a former Australian Bureau of Statistics official who was working with the U.K. Statistics Authority and the U.K. Office for National Statistics to research best practices in implementing international statistical standards. They discussed the international comparability of domestic industry and product classifications, data quality and publishing, and the independence of statistical organizations.
  • Staff from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are planning to revise their household expenditure survey. They turned to BLS experts, who shared their insights and experiences in improving our Consumer Expenditure Surveys.
  • Staff from the Statistical Division at the United Nations asked BLS to comment on issues surrounding the classification of business functions; household income, consumption, and wealth; and unpaid household service work. Input from staff in multiple offices will inform the BLS response to this request.
  • BLS staff, our counterparts in Canada and Mexico, and colleagues from across Europe and Asia discussed data ethics in a meeting organized by the Centre for Applied Data Ethics at the U.K. Statistics Authority. Country representatives summarized how their organizations assess ethical considerations when producing official statistics. The U.K. Statistics Authority identified the following ethical considerations as being especially important:
Public Good: The use of data has clear benefits for users and serves the public good.
Confidentiality, Data Security: The data subject's identity (whether person or organisation) is protected, information is kept confidential and secure, and the issue of consent is considered appropriately.
Methods and Quality: The risks and limits of new technologies are considered and there is sufficient human oversight so that methods employed are consistent with recognised standards of integrity and quality.
Legal Compliance: Data used and methods employed are consistent with legal requirements.
Public Views and Engagement: The views of the public are considered in light of the data used and the perceived benefits of the research.
Transparency: The access, use and sharing of data is transparent, and is communicated clearly and accessibly to the public.

From its founding, BLS has understood the importance of these issues. Our written policies and strategic plans reflect these principles. They also are reflected in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act and the newly formed Scientific Integrity Task Force, which includes BLS staff among its members.

And that’s just some of what we did this summer! BLS has a longstanding reputation for providing expert training and guidance and participating in international statistical forums. We also provide BLS data to the International Labour Organization and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others. These organizations often feature BLS statistics in their databases. Since its inception, BLS has provided technical assistance to our international counterparts, starting with our first Commissioner, Carroll Wright, who directed BLS staff to advise foreign governments establishing statistical agencies. Commissioner Wright was also a member of several international statistical associations, a tradition that continues today. Currently, BLS staff participate in many international expert groups, including the Voorburg Group on Service Statistics, the Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers, and the International Conference of Labor Statisticians. These groups provide BLS staff with opportunities to discuss topics of common interest, to propose and learn about innovative solutions to data measurement issues, and to influence discussions about important economic concepts.

BLS began providing technical assistance in earnest in the late 1940s as part of the U.S. government’s European Economic Recovery Program. BLS staff planned and conducted productivity studies and helped European governments establish their own economic statistics. Similar efforts continue today for our colleagues around the world, many of whom have participated in our international training programs. While we have temporarily halted in-person training programs because of the pandemic, our staff plan to provide more training modules virtually in response to the popularity of these programs. Over the last 10 years, BLS has provided training or other technical assistance to over 1,700 seminar participants and other visitors from 95 countries. More recently, the International Monetary Fund has asked BLS to provide training on Producer Price Indexes and Import and Export Price Indexes to our colleagues abroad.

I am incredibly grateful to all the subject matter experts throughout BLS who provide invaluable assistance with these activities and help maintain our excellent reputation in the international statistical community. We look forward to your continued support as BLS strengthens important international relationships, virtually for now, and hopefully in person soon.

BLS at the Olympics

When you find yourself in a 16-day marathon on the sofa shouting “U-S-A, U-S-A” at every swimmer, weightlifter, and beach volleyball player, you may not see the relationship to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But as you sprint through the pages of our website or add your likes to Twitter, you’ll begin to see how BLS has a stat for that.

Olympic symbol with five interlocking rings and BLS emblem

Uneven bars

As we head into the gymnastics venue, we notice one of the women’s apparatus reminds us of how we measure productivity. We use two factors to compute labor productivity—output and hours worked. Over the past decade, the “bars” for output and hours worked aren’t quite parallel, but they are definitely uneven; output grew a little faster than hours, leading to rising productivity.  The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in sharp drops in both output and hours, leaving productivity to maintain its steady climb. BLS productivity staff stick the landing by providing a series of quarterly charts to let you vault into all the details.

Labor productivity (output per hour), output, and hours worked indexes, nonfarm business, 2012 to 2021

Editor’s note: Data for this chart are available in our interactive chart packages.

Decathlon

You may not have to run, jump, and throw, but the fastest growing occupations from our annual employment projections represent a diversity of skills. A decathlon has 10 events, but we have so much Olympic spirit we want to show you the 12 fastest growing occupations. Half of these jobs are in the healthcare field, while a couple involve alternative forms of energy. And, of course, BLS is pleased to see statisticians and data scientists and mathematical science occupations make the list. While the “World’s Greatest Athlete” is decided at the track and field venue, our Employment Projections staff goes the extra mile (1,500 meters, actually) to identify where the jobs will be in the future.

Fastest growing occupations, projected, 2019–29

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

Swimming 4×100 medley relay

At the natatorium, we are here to witness one of the premier events of the Olympic Games, the swimming 4×100 medley relay. Four price indexes will each take a lap to demonstrate how they work together to provide a complete inflation picture. In the leadoff position is the Import Price Index, which rose 11.2 percent from June 2020 to June 2021—with fuel prices being one of the largest drivers. After touching the wall first, imports made way for the Producer Price Index, which rose 7.3 percent for the year ending in June. Price increases for a variety of goods drove this gain. The third leg belonged to the Export Price Index, which rose 16.8 percent over the past year, the largest gain among the quartet. Agricultural products were among the largest contributors to the increase in export prices. In the anchor position was the Consumer Price Index, freestyling with a 5.4-percent increase over the year, leading BLS to the gold medal. Among the largest increases over the past year were consumer prices for gasoline and for used cars and trucks.

Percent change in BLS price indexes, June 2020 to June 2021

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

Greco-Roman wrestling

We bypassed the freestyle wrestling venue to watch Greco-Roman wrestling. The difference between freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling is that freestyle wrestlers can use their legs for both defensive and offensive moves, but Greco-Roman forbids any holds below the waist. Our Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses reports on the part of the body where workplace injuries occur, and, just like Greco-Roman, many of those occur above the waist.

Among workplace injuries that resulted in time away from work, nearly two out of three affected parts of the body above the waist, with the greatest number related to the upper extremities (shoulder, arm, hand, and wrist).

Number of workplace injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, by part of body, 2019

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

Among the most prevalent injuries to the upper extremities were sprains, strains, punctures, cuts, and burns.

Beach volleyball

This popular sport takes place out on the sandy beaches, with two athletes on each side battling for the gold. Let’s look at some popular beach volleyball spots around the United States and pair them with the unemployment rates by state and metropolitan area. Florida serves up the lowest unemployment rate among the four states we have selected, at 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in June. Miami had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in June—the lowest among the metro areas chosen. Receiving the serve, Hawaii’s rate stood at a 7.9 percent. They bumped it to their teammate Illinois, which also had a rate of 7.9 percent. California reached a little higher, with a rate of 8.0 percent.

Unemployment rates in selected beach volleyball states and metropolitan areas, June 2021, not seasonally adjusted

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

BLS heads to Tokyo

Just as the United States exports its athletes to Japan for the Olympic Games, the two countries are regular trading partners. The BLS International Price Program provides a monthly look at inflation for U.S. imports and exports. Among the data available are price changes based on where the imports come from and where the exports go. And yes, this includes data for Japan. While we’ve seen increases in many inflation measures in recent months, the data show more modest increases in prices of U.S. imports from Japan. Not so for U.S. exports to Japan, which increased 15.8 percent from June 2020 to June 2021. No, this does not represent the price of exporting our athletes; it mostly relates to sharp increases in the price of agricultural exports.

Percent change in U.S. import and export prices, June 2020 to June 2021

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

Whether it’s weightlifting or dressage or the new sports climbing activities, BLS is cheering on the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians in Japan. At the same time, we’ll still be keeping to our data release schedule. Find out what’s available from BLS during August and September and be sure to follow BLS on Twitter.

Fastest growing occupations, projected, 2019–29
OccupationProjected percent change

Wind turbine service technicians

60.7%

Nurse practitioners

52.4

Solar photovoltaic installers

50.5

Occupational therapy assistants

34.6

Statisticians

34.6

Home health and personal care aides

33.7

Physical therapist assistants

32.6

Medical and health services managers

31.5

Physician assistants

31.3

Information security analysts

31.2

Data scientists and mathematical science occupations, all other

30.9

Derrick operators, oil and gas

30.5
Percent change in BLS price indexes, June 2020 to June 2021
Price indexPercent change

Import Price Index

11.2%

Producer Price Index

7.3

Export Price Index

16.8

Consumer Price Index

5.4
Number of workplace injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, by part of body, 2019
Part of bodyNumber

Upper extremities (shoulder, arm, hand, wrist)

284,860

Lower extremities (knee, ankle, foot)

216,850

Trunk

187,130

Multiple body parts

82,650

Head

79,620

Body systems

15,150

Neck

11,600

All other body parts

10,360
Unemployment rates in selected beach volleyball states and metropolitan areas, June 2021, not seasonally adjusted
State or metropolitan areaRate

States

Florida

5.7%

Hawaii

7.9

Illinois

7.9

California

8.0

Metropolitan areas

Miami

6.2

Honolulu

7.1

Chicago

8.5

Los Angeles

9.5
Percent change in U.S. import and export prices, June 2020 to June 2021
Price indexAll countriesJapan

Import prices

11.2%1.8%

Export prices

16.815.8

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.