May 2014


A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 11.7 million,
and the jobless rate was 7.5 percent. [BLS]

White      5.4%
African American 11.5%
Hispanic 7.7%
Asian**                           5.3%
Persons with a disability**     12.7%
Men 20 years and over 5.9%
Women 20 years and over 5.7%
Teens (16-19 years) 19.2%
Black teens 31.1%
Officially unemployed 9.8 million

*If the LFPR were at its pre-recession level, the unemployment rate in  April 2014 would have been 9.9%  instead of 6.3%. [See “The Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Trajectory”]


Working part-time because can’t find a full-time job: 7.3 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.1 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  6.4 million
Total: 23.5 million (14.5% of the labor force)

Source:  See also Current Employment Statistics–Highlights

**Not seasonally adjusted.
*See Uncommon Sense #4 for an explanation of the unemployment measures, and Is the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate During This Recession Permanent?.

In addition, millions more were working full-time, year-round, yet earned less than the official poverty level for a family of four. In 2012, the latest year available, that number was 18.0 million, 17.5 percent of full-time, full-year workers (estimated from Current Population Survey, Bur. of the  Census, 9/2013).

In March 2014, the latest month available, the number of job openings was 4.0 million, “little changed from 4.1 million in February”. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and for government. The number of job openings was little changed in all industries. The West region experienced a decrease in job openings in March.” Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary,May 9, 2014.+

Thus there are nearly 6 job-wanters for each available job.


Private Payroll Employment Has Grown For 50 Months
(cbpp 5/2)

Long-Term Unemployment Near Historic Highs
(cbpp 5/2)

Employment to Population Ratio Remains Depressed (cbpp 5/2)

Missing Jobs: How many jobs
we should have had

If Missing Young Workers Were Looking

GDP Fell Far Below What the Economy
Was Capable of Producing

+The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the year ending in March for total nonfarm, total private, and government.  Over the year, the job openings level increased in three industries and decreased in three industries. Over the 12 months ending in March, the number of job openings increased in the Midwest region but decreased in the Northeast.”(