Unemployment Data–SEPTEMBER 2022

September 2022 Unemployment Data–the Full Count



African American
Persons with a disability¹
Men 20 years and over
Women 20 years and over
Teens (16-19 years)
Black teens
Officially unemployed
5.8 million


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job:  3.8 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which 1.6 million¹ searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  5.8 million
Total: 15.4 million (9.0% of the labor force)

Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf “The supplemental questions that BLS added to the household survey in May 2020 to examine the effects
of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market were asked for the last time in September 2022. These questions asked whether people teleworked or worked from home because of the pandemic, whether people were unable to work because their employers closed or lost business due to the pandemic, whether they were paid for that missed work, and whether the pandemic prevented jobseeking activities. These questions had become less relevant than they were earlier in the pandemic. This
Employment Situation news release is the last one to contain data from these questions.” For BLS State and area data, see Geographic Information and State Unemployment Summary and Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows, Seasonally Adjusted

*See Uncommon Sense #4 and How the BLS Measures Unemployment for an explanation of the unemployment measures.

¹Not seasonally adjusted.  Marginally Attached workers want work and are available, have looked for work within the last 12 months, but not during “the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

WORKING BUT IN POVERTY: In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2020,  that number was 12.2 million, 11.6 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census). The poverty threshold in 2020 was $26,496 for a family of four.

HOW MANY JOBS ARE AVAILABLE? In September 2022, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 10.7 million. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, November 1, 2022.  Thus there are 1.4 job-wanters for each available job. See also JOLTS Experimental State Estimates

HOW UNEMPLOYMENT IS MEASURED: Unemployment is measured as a percent of the civilian non-institutional labor force.  The unemployed are those who have not worked at least an hour during the week of record, when a sample survey is taken, and who have looked for work during that month. The labor force includes those 16 years old and older who are either working or unemployed.  It excludes those in  institutions, like nursing homes or prisons, and those in the military. The latter two groups would in all likelihood experience high unemployment. Merely adding the incarcerated would add about one percentage point to the unemployment rate.

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