Uenployment Rates U3 and U6 2008 to currentUenployment Rates U3 and U6 2008 to current
UPDATED  March 6 2015 The official unemployment rate declined the  government reported today. The  U-3  unemployment dropped to  5.5 % in November. The  U-6 unemployment rate declined to 11.0%. The US economy added 295,000 jobs last month. Total U-3 Unemployment was 8.7 million persons. 

After revision, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December
remained at +329,000, and the change for January was revised from +257,000 to
+239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were
18,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have
averaged 288,000 per month.

Click here for a larger graph of unemployment rates.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.7 million in February. These individuals accounted for 31.1 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.1 million.

In February, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks  preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 732,000 discouraged workers in February, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally  adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work  because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million  persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in February and has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent since April 2014. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.3 percent in February but is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in February at 6.6 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working  part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to  find a full-time job.

The U-6 unemployment rate includes the total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers. What is unemployment?

NOTE: Marginally attached workers are persons who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule. For more information, see "BLS introduces new range of alternative unemployment measures," in the October 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

BLS Latest Job Numbers

  • 12.3 million - unemployed,
  • 14.4%(U6) - out of work,
  • 4.7 million (40%) 6 months or longer,
  • 8.0 million "involuntary" partime workers,
  • Over 4 million for a year, (WSJ)
  • 2.0  million over 99 weeks, the 99ers!
  • 4.7 jobless for every job. EPI

~ U.S. January 2013 -Bureau Labor Statistics

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