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Tag Archives: Labor market trends

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

Labor Day 2020 Fast Facts

I have been Commissioner of Labor Statistics for about a year and a half now, and what a time it has been! BLS has faced many challenges throughout its history, but none quite like those from the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our staff moved to full-time telework March 16, and I am so proud of how well they have worked under trying circumstances. In a very short time—days, not weeks—we had to change our data collection processes to eliminate in-person collection and move to a combination of telephone, internet, and video. We recognize how challenging it is for our survey respondents to provide data during the pandemic, and I am very grateful for their cooperation. Response rates have dipped a bit in some programs, but the quality of our samples remains strong across the board. Despite all of the challenges, BLS has been able to produce all of our economic reports without interruption.

The pandemic has taught us there’s an unlimited appetite for data. The U.S. statistical system is working to satisfy that appetite. At BLS, we strive for more and better data to understand the hardships caused by the pandemic. Starting in May we added new questions to our monthly survey of households. The questions ask whether people teleworked or worked from home because of the pandemic; whether people were unable to work because their employers closed or lost business; whether they were paid for that missed work; and whether the pandemic prevented job-seeking activities. We continue to gather new data from those questions.

We collaborated with our partners at other U.S. statistical agencies to find out how many people received payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020. For those who received payments, we asked how they used them.

Soon we will have new data about how businesses have responded to the pandemic. These data are from a brand new survey that seeks to identify changes to business operations, employment, workforce flexibilities, and benefits as a result of the pandemic.

These are just a few examples of how our data collection has responded to the pandemic. Good data are essential for identifying problems, guiding policymakers, and gauging whether and how fast conditions improve for workers, jobseekers, families, and businesses.

Labor Day is a good time to reflect on where we are. Despite these difficult times, I hope you are able to enjoy the long holiday weekend. Take a moment to look at some fast facts we’ve compiled on the current picture of our labor market.

Working

Our monthly payroll survey shows that employment had been increasing through February 2020. With March came the pandemic and the job losses related to it. We lost more than 22 million jobs in March and April and then regained about 48 percent of them in May, June, July, and August.

The employment–population ratio was 56.5 percent in August. This ratio is the number of people employed as a percent of the population age 16 and older. The ratio was 61.1 percent in February.

There were 7.6 million people working part time for economic reasons in August 2020. These are people who would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. This number was down from 10.9 million in April. The number was 4.3 million in February.

Not Working

The unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent in April 2020. That was the highest rate, and the largest over-the-month increase, in the history of the data back to January 1948. The rate has fallen since then, reaching 8.4 percent in August. The rate was 3.5 percent back in February, the lowest since 1969.

We have noted the challenges of measuring unemployment during this pandemic. The rates we have seen since March likely understate unemployment, but the trend is clear. The rate rose sharply in March and even more sharply in April and has trended down since April.

Among the major worker groups in August 2020, the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent for adult women and 8.0 percent for adult men. The rate for teenagers was 16.1 percent. The unemployment rate was 13.0 percent for Blacks or African Americans, 10.7 percent for Asians, 10.5 percent for Hispanics or Latinos, and 7.3 percent for Whites.

Job Openings

On the last business day of June 2020, the number of nonfarm job openings was 5.9 million. That was a decline of 18 percent from June 2019.

The ratio of unemployed people per job opening was 3.0 in June 2020. Since the most recent peak of 4.6 in April 2020, the ratio of unemployed people per job opening declined in May and June. In February 2020, there was 0.8 unemployment person per job opening.

Pay and Benefits

Civilian compensation (wage and benefit) costs increased 2.7 percent in June 2020 from a year earlier. After adjusting for inflation, real compensation costs rose 2.1 percent over the year.

Paid leave benefits are available to most private industry workers. The access rates in March 2019 were 73 percent for sick leave, 79 percent for vacation, and 79 percent for holidays.

In March 2019, civilian workers with employer-provided medical plans paid 20 percent of the cost of medical care premiums for single coverage and 33 percent for family coverage.

Productivity

Labor productivity—output per hour worked—in the U.S. nonfarm business sector grew 2.8 percent from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. That increase reflects large pandemic-related declines in output (−11.2 percent) and hours worked (−13.6 percent).

Safety and Health

In 2018, there were 5,250 fatal workplace injuries. That was a 2-percent increase from 2017 and was the highest number of fatal work injuries in a decade. It was, however, below the numbers of workplace deaths in the 1990s, when over 6,000 fatalities occurred per year.

There were about 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2018 by private industry employers. This resulted in an incidence rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2018. The rate is down from 9.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 1976.

Unionization

The union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 10.3 percent in 2019, down by 0.2 percentage point from 2018. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.

Total employer compensation costs for private-industry union workers were $48.57 and for nonunion workers $34.16 per employee hour worked in March 2020. The cost of benefits accounted for 40.5 percent of total compensation (or $19.65) for union workers and 28.4 percent (or $9.71) for nonunion workers.

Looking to the Future

We released our latest set of long-term employment projections September 1. We project employment to grow by 6.0 million jobs from 2019 to 2029. That is an annual growth rate of 0.4 percent, slower than the 2009–19 annual growth rate of 1.3 percent. The healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add the most new jobs, and 6 of the 10 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare. These projections do not include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts. We develop the projections using models based on historical data. The historical data for this set of projections cover the period through 2019, so all input data precede the pandemic. We will continue to examine the effects of the pandemic as we update our projections next year and the years that follow.

From an American worker’s first job to retirement and everything in between, BLS has a stat for that! Want to learn more? Follow us on Twitter @BLS_gov.

Let’s Celebrate the Productive U.S. Workforce

Earlier this month our nation celebrated Labor Day. We celebrate Labor Day for many good reasons, but one of the best is to appreciate, even for just one day, how amazingly productive our nation’s workforce is. As we shop online or in stores, we rarely stop to think about the skills and effort it takes to produce our goods and services. Let’s take a moment to celebrate that productivity and the progress we have seen in the last few years.

Indeed, productivity of labor is at the heart of the American economy. How much workers produce for each hour they labor and how efficiently they use resources determines the pace of economic growth and the volume of goods that supply everyone (workers included) with the products and services that shape our daily lives. Growing productivity means that our standard of living very likely is improving.

Our workers are very productive. On average, each U.S. worker produced goods and services worth $129,755 last year. That’s compared with the next largest world economies: Germany at $99,377; the United Kingdom at $93,226; Japan at $78,615; China at $32,553; and India at $19,555.

Despite our great reliance on rising productivity to attain the good things of life, academics and researchers still marvel at the mysteries that surround the subject. What drives productivity change? What are the key factors behind these international differences in output per worker?

For example, does the quality of labor alone determine the rate of productivity growth? It is certainly a component of what drives labor productivity, although some countries have high educational and training levels but low productivity per worker. Labor quality has been steadily rising in the United States, but we don’t know the impact on productivity as the baby boomers retire and are replaced.

What is the right mix of labor and technology needed for changing the productivity growth rate? How can we measure the value of the dignity of work, or the personal and social value that work yields? And, what is the role of technical knowledge and product design in determining the productivity of labor?

Then there’s the mysterious role of innovation. Economists think they know that invention and scientific breakthroughs can make massive changes to productivity. However, which innovations transform productivity, and have all the low-lying fruits of productivity enhancement already been harvested?

Despite our strong international showing, analysts who watch these data may be a tad bit concerned with the sluggishness in U.S. productivity growth over the past 10 years. Since 2011, the rate of growth in labor productivity has slowed to one-third of the pace shown between 2000 and 2008, despite acceleration in the past 2 years. Even when we broaden the concept of productivity to include the output attributable to the combination of labor and other productive factors (also known as multifactor productivity), the rate of growth is still one-third of the pace it was in the first decade of this century.

Even with a subsidence in the growth rate, it is worth noting that both labor input and output are on the rise. Since the start of the current business cycle expansion in 2009, the rate of growth in labor input has been five times what it was prior to the Great Recession during the previous expansion.

Output has also grown steadily, but at a slower rate than hours. Because labor productivity is the quotient of output divided by hours, productivity can slow even when both components are rising. The relationship between the relative growth of output and hours is one of the many features that makes productivity both challenging and fascinating to study.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics engages with an extensive network of researchers in and out of the academic community whose mission is, like ours, to better understand and measure the productivity of the U.S. labor force. Labor productivity is an amazing subject because it incorporates so many facets of the nation’s economy into one statistic. By peeling back layers and looking at the details behind the summary number, we can gain valuable insight on the hours and output of our nation’s workforce. We will continue to produce and provide context for these valuable statistics that help tell the story of America’s workers.

That said, we should never lose sight of the big picture. America’s workers lead the world in their capacity to create the goods and services that define our economy and improve our lives. And that, certainly, is something great to celebrate!

Labor Day 2019 Fast Facts

I have been Commissioner of Labor Statistics for 5 months now, and I continue to be amazed by the range and quality of data we publish about the U.S. labor market and the well-being of American workers. As we like to say at BLS, we really do have a stat for that! We won’t rest on what we have done, however. We continue to strive for more data and better data to help workers, jobseekers, students, businesses, and policymakers make informed decisions. Labor Day is a good time to reflect on where we are. This year is the 125th anniversary of celebrating Labor Day as a national holiday. Before you set out to enjoy the long holiday weekend, take a moment to look at some fast facts we’ve compiled on the current picture of our labor market.

Working

Working or Looking for Work

  • The civilian labor force participation rate—the share of the population working or looking for work—was 63.0 percent in July 2019. The rate had trended down from the 2000s through the early 2010s, but it has remained fairly steady since 2014.

Not Working

  • The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in July. In April and May, the rate hit its lowest point, 3.6 percent, since 1969.
  • In July, there were 1.2 million long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more). This represented 19.2 percent of the unemployed, down from a peak of 45.5 percent in April 2010 but still above the 16-percent share in late 2006.
  • Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers was 12.8 percent in July 2019, while the rates were 3.4 percent for both adult women and adult men. The unemployment rate was 6.0 percent for Blacks or African Americans, 4.5 percent for Hispanics or Latinos, 2.8 percent for Asians, and 3.3 percent for Whites.

Job Openings

Pay and Benefits

  • Average weekly earnings rose by 2.6 percent from July 2018 to July 2019. After adjusting for inflation in consumer prices, real average weekly earnings were up 0.8 percent during this period.
  • Civilian compensation (wage and benefit) costs increased 2.7 percent in June 2019 from a year earlier. After adjusting for inflation, real compensation costs rose 1.1 percent over the year.
  • Paid leave benefits are available to most private industry workers. The access rates in March 2018 were 71 percent for sick leave, 77 percent for vacation, and 78 percent for holidays.
  • About 91 percent of civilian workers with access to paid holidays receive Labor Day as a paid holiday.
  • In March 2018, civilian workers with employer-provided medical plans paid 20 percent of the cost of medical care premiums for single coverage and 32 percent for family coverage.

Productivity

  • Labor productivity—output per hour worked—in the U.S. nonfarm business sector grew 1.8 percent from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019.
  • Some industries had much faster growth in 2018, including electronic shopping and mail-order houses (10.6 percent) and wireless telecommunications carriers (10.1 percent).
  • Multifactor productivity in the private nonfarm business sector rose 1.0 percent in 2018. That growth is 0.2 percentage point higher than the average annual rate of 0.8 percent from 1987 to 2018.

Safety and Health

Unionization

  • The union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 10.5 percent in 2018, down by 0.2 percentage point from 2017. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent.

Work Stoppages

  • In the first 7 months of 2019, there have been 307,500 workers involved in major work stoppages that began this year. (Major work stoppages are strikes or lockouts that involve 1,000 or more workers and last one full shift or longer.) For all of 2018, there were 485,200 workers involved in major work stoppages, the largest number since 1986, when about 533,100 workers were involved.
  • There have been 15 work stoppages beginning in 2019. For all of 2018, 20 work stoppages began during the year.

Education

  • Occupations that typically require a bachelor’s degree for entry made up 22 percent of employment in 2018. This educational category includes registered nurses, teachers at the kindergarten through secondary levels, and many management, business and financial operations, computer, and engineering occupations.
  • For 18 of the 30 occupations projected to grow the fastest between 2016 and 2026, some postsecondary education is typically required for entry. Be sure to check out our updated employment projections, covering 2018 to 2028, that we will publish September 4!

From an American worker’s first job to retirement and everything in between, BLS has a stat for that! Want to learn more? Follow us on Twitter @BLS_gov.