Various unemployment statistics can tell us more about the unemployment rates in the US. 

We have witnessed the most drastic changes in unemployment in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

The current unemployment stats show light at the end of the tunnel. The recent drastic reduction in unemployment indicates a positive outlook and gives job seekers hope in the labor market.

If you wonder if unemployment is a global problem, we have the answer to that and many other questions.

Top US Unemployment Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • There are 5.9 million unemployed Americans.
  • There are 1.1 million long-term unemployed US citizens as of February 2023.
  • North Dakota and Utah have the lowest unemployment rate at 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.
  • Massachusetts gives $1,015 weekly to every unemployed person.
  • 5.40% of black people are currently unemployed.
  • Nevada and Illinois currently have the highest unemployment rate at 5.2% and 4.7%, respectively.
  • 99.93 million people aren’t part of the U.S. labor force.
  • The U.S. unemployment rate is at 3.6% as of February 2023.

Unemployment Rate 2023 — The Latest Statistics

Before diving into exciting data about unemployment in the US and other countries, we should understand how unemployment is defined. The average unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people in the labor force (both employed and unemployed). 

The result is then multiplied by 100 to be expressed as a percentage. Let's see what these stats tell us about the current unemployment rates.

1. Unemployment in the US is estimated at 3.6% as of February 2023.

(Trading Economics)

The current unemployment rate had significantly decreased compared to Feb 2021, which was 6.2%. Many people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The US unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.6 percent in February 2023, surpassing market predictions of 3.4 percent and up from a 50-year low of 3.4 percent in January. 

2. 5.9 million Americans are unemployed as of February 2023.

(BLS, Trading Economics)

According to the newest Bureau of Labor Statistics report, unemployment is stabilizing, as the number of unemployed persons has decreased drastically from 16.2 million in 2021 to 5.9 million as of February 2023. 

Today’s unemployment rate is more stable as employment levels rose by 177 thousand to 160.32 million as labor force participation increased to 62.5%, the highest since March 2020.

3. There are 1.1 million long-term unemployed US citizens.


Long-term unemployment stands for more than 27 weeks of joblessness. The national unemployment rate of long-term unemployed Americans has steadily decreased from 2.41 million in April 2020 to 1.1 million as of February 2023.

Unemployment Rates and Presidency 

Every president in the US brought some changes concerning unemployment. This year will be crucial to the American Nation, as many Americans claim that the 2020 elections are the most important in the history of the US. Let's check how the joblessness rate has changed in different US states and under other presidents.

4. The unemployment rate decreased from 6.3% when Biden took office to 3.5% in December 2022.

(Fact Check)

The unemployment rate decreased from 6.3% when Biden took office in January 2021 to 3.6% as of February 2023 — a decline of 2.8%. The current rate is precisely where it was in the months before the pandemic.

5. Under Biden's administration, 10.7 million new jobs have been created as of December 2022.

(Fact Check)

The unemployment rate has drastically reduced in the past couple of years. The U.S. economy has added 10,726,000 jobs between Joe Biden's inauguration in January 2021 and December 2022. This figure is 1,239,000 higher than the February 2020 peak of employment before COVID-19 forced massive shutdowns and layoffs.

6. The highest unemployment rate is currently in Nevada and Illinois.


Concerning the US states’ unemployment rate, the highest rates are in Nevada and Illinois. 

They have experienced the most significant unemployment rate increase as of December 2022 — 5.2% in Nevada and 4.7% in Illinois.

This is a significant improvement compared to 2020 when Hawaii had the highest unemployment rate at 14.3%.

7. Currently, Utah is the US state with the lowest unemployment rate as of February 2023.


In 2020, Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate of  4.2%, and South Dakota came next with 4.6%. 

Looking at the current list of US unemployment rates by state, we can conclude that unemployment rates have reduced significantly. Utah's unemployment statistics have the lowest jobless rate at 2.2%, with North Dakota coming second at 2.3% as of February 2023.

8. The unemployment rate in Vermont decreased from 14.0% to 2.9%.


The unemployment rate in Vermont was at an all-time high of 14.0% in April 2020 following the catastrophic events of the pandemic. 

However, recent unemployment statistics have shown a massive decrease in the unemployment rate from 14% in 2020 to 2.9% in January 2023. 

Vermont has had the lowest unemployment rate in recent years. Many employment statistics show that hospitality, manufacturing, construction, and other industries have increased employment as companies start reopening.

9. Massachusetts offers $1,015 weekly to every unemployed person as of 2022.


Massachusettes is the state with the highest Unemployment Insurance (UI) weekly benefit amount of $1,015, providing up to 30 weeks of unemployment insurance as of October 2, 2022.

 However, you must meet the eligibility requirements stated by law before applying. You will be notified of your outcome and benefit determination 3-4 weeks after use. 

US Unemployment Rate — Demographics and Education

The numbers show that age, gender, sexual orientation, or education can vastly influence a person’s ability to find a job. Let’s see to what extent such differences affect the real unemployment rates, especially in the US, where many nationalities exist.

10. 5.40% of black people are jobless as of March 2023.

(Trading Economics)

According to the United States Federal Reserve, the unemployment rate among black or African Americans is 5.40% as of March 2023.  The black unemployment rate was estimated at 16.7% in April 2020 but decreased significantly despite the pandemic.

11. 19.4% of Midwestern teenagers participated in the labor force while attending school.


The employment rate of teenagers between 16 and 19 who were employees enrolled at school in the United States increased from 17.6% in 2020 to 19.4% as of 2021.

Teenagers struggle the most among the major worker groups, especially in the US Midwest. This school enrollment disengagement is the lowest in the Northeast, where only 22.4% of teenagers joined the labor force. 

12. People with less than a high school diploma have the highest unemployment rate.


Some interesting data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment chart show that the highest United States unemployment rate is among the least educated people.

As of February 2022, the unemployment rate for people with less than a high school diploma is 4.3%. Around 5.5%  of high school graduates aged 25 and above with no college degree have an unemployment rate of 4.5%.

13. Latino and black women have a slight decrease in the unemployment rate as of 2022.


The employment rate for Black and Hispanic women increased in February, as did the labor force participation rate. The unemployment rate of black women decreased from 5.1% to 4.7%, while the joblessness of Hispanic women decreased from 4.8% to 4.4%.

The unemployment rate by year shows consistency when the female workforce statistics are in question.

14. Around 5.5% of high school graduates were unemployed as of February 2023. 


Around 5.5%  of high school graduates aged 25 and above with no college degree have an unemployment rate of 4.5%

15. The lowest unemployment rate is among the people with a bachelor’s and master’s degree or Ph.D.


Statistics regarding the US unemployment rate by year reveal that people with higher education levels are getting jobs more accessible. 

Unemployment rates for people with college or associate degrees had significantly reduced in January 2023, when only 2.0% of those workers were jobless. This is a significant improvement compared to January 2022, when their unemployment rate was 2.3%.

16. White men saw the most significant increase in employment in September.


Unfortunately, discrimination based on gender, race, and ethnicity still prevails. The unemployment rates for adult white men, women, and Asians decreased to 3.2% as of February 2023.

Other Relevant Unemployment Statistics

No one knows the future when unemployment is questioned, mainly because many factors influence its rate. Here are some exciting unemployment stats to help you understand everything that can impact unemployment.

17. Being unemployed for nine months or longer can harm someone’s career.

(Zip Job)

Many unemployment statistics show that being unemployed for six months will only significantly impact someone's career. Still, researchers have noticed a significant decrease in interview calls after nine months of unemployment, mainly for low-skilled positions. Being unemployed for over a year can drastically reduce someone's chances of getting a job.

18. Economists state that the unemployment rate of up to 4% or 5% isn’t concerning.


Today, many economists are skeptical about the connection between unemployment and deflation. They think that even an unemployment rate of 5% can’t cause harm to the economy. The natural unemployment rate is entirely regular, and it emerges from deliberate unemployment and the replacement of workers by technology.

19. 99.93 million people aren’t part of the U.S. labor force as of 2023.

(Statista, BLS)

As of February 2023, 99.93 US residents (male and female) weren’t in the labor force, and the total number of people looking for a job is 4,986, while the number of discouraged workers is 361.

20. The US unemployment rate rose more in three months of the pandemic than during the two years of the great depression.

(Pew Research)

The unemployment rate during the great depression experienced a drastic increase, as the number of unemployed people rose by 8.8 million from 2007 to the beginning of 2010. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate increased even more. The number of unemployed Americans increased by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.

21. The median unemployment rate for April 2023 is predicted to be 3.5%.

(Trading Economics)

Following the current U.S. unemployment statistics, the predictions regarding unemployment are brighter. According to Trading Economics data, the US unemployment rate forecasts are predicted to decrease from 3.6% to 3.5% by April 2023. The unemployment rate for Hispanic and black people is also expected to decrease.

22. 44% of lower-income adults used money from savings or retirement funds during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Pew Social Trends)

Furthermore, 35% borrowed money from family and friends, 35% got food from food banks or charitable organizations, and 37% received government help. Concerning households where one or more members lost their jobs, 46% have used savings or retirement money to pay their bills. Only 16% of people found paying rent or a mortgage difficult.


Based on the unemployment statistics analyzed above, it is evident that the US economy has come out of recession and mostly recovered from the global financial crisis that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

We must consider that many people are willing to work but must be listed as a labor force. Moreover, we saw that unemployment rates varied historically and were closely connected to politics, wars, banking systems, and other factors. This means that every economy is as solid or fragile as its society.