Various unemployment statistics can tell us more about the unemployment rates in the US. This year has seen the most drastic changes in unemployment, and it is yet to be seen how the next decade will look like.
If you are wondering if unemployment is a global problem, we have the answer to that and many other questions. The data we’ve compiled will show you that many political, economic, and social events can stir up the market and cause different consequences in many US states.
Top US Unemployment Statistics and Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- There are 12.6 million unemployed Americans
- The unemployment rate in Hawaii is 15.2%
- Trump has secured 1 million jobs less than Barack Obama
- Massachusetts gives $826 weekly to every unemployed person
- 12.1% of black people are currently unemployed
- The most significant increase in employment in September was for white men
- 100,670 people aren’t a part of the labor force
- The unemployment rate is predicted to be 7.6% in December 2020.
Unemployment Rate 2020 — The Latest Statistics
Before we dive into some interesting data about unemployment in the US and some 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 can tell us about the current unemployment rates.
1. Unemployment in the US is estimated at 6.9%.
The current unemployment rate had slightly decreased compared to August 2020, when it was 8.4%. Many people lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the US will need a significant time to reach previous unemployment rates (around 3.5%).
2. 12.6 million Americans are unemployed.
According to the newest Bureau of Labour Statistics report, the situation regarding unemployment is stabilizing. The number of unemployed persons has decreased by 1 million since October. Today’s unemployment rate might be more stable, but the pandemic might change it since it isn’t over yet.
3. The highest rate of joblessness occurred in April 2020.
According to the statistics regarding unemployment from 1950 until now, the highest joblessness rate for every race, age, gender, or ethnicity was seen in March 2020 when it spiked up to 14.7%.
The second-highest unemployment rate in the US was in October 1982, when it was around 10.8%. If we compare it to the lowest unemployment rate in US history (2.9% in March 1952), we will realize how difficult this year is when finding a job is in question.
4. The highest unemployment rate is currently in Hawaii (15.1%).
Concerning the US states’ unemployment rate, the highest rates are in Hawaii and Nevada. They have also experienced the largest unemployment rate increase from September 2019 — 12.4% in Hawaii and 8.9% in Nevada.
5. There are 2.41 million long-term unemployed US citizens.
Long-term unemployment stands for more than 26 weeks of joblessness. The national unemployment rate of long-term unemployed Americans has been steadily increasing since April 2020, but it's currently higher than ever.
6. At the moment, Nebraska is the US state with the lowest joblessness rate as of September.
Even in 2020, Nebraska’s unemployment rate is only 3.5%, and South Dakota comes next with 4.1%. If we take a look at the complete list of US unemployment rates by state, we can conclude that unemployment rates vary significantly.
Unemployment Rates by State and Presidency
It seems that 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 different presidents.
7. For 29 months, Barack Obama secured 1 million jobs more than Trump.
During the presidency of Barack Obama, the unemployment rate was lower than it is now. The job growth numbers have risen during Trump's last month of the presidency is 5.613 million, while there were 6.423 million new jobs when Obama left office.
8. 5.6 million new jobs were created so far under Trump’s administration.
Electing Donald Trump for president came with many controversies, but it is clear now that the US job market generated 5.6 million new job positions during his presidency so far.
New jobs have been added for 105 consecutive months, including the first 29 months of the Trump administration.
9. The unemployment rate under Trump continued going down and was stable at 3.7% in June 2020.
The percentage of unemployed people when Trump was sworn in was 4.7%. It should be mentioned that Trump’s monthly gain has been 194,000 jobs, which is less than 217,000 recorded while Obama was serving the second term.
This means that President Trump will need to pick up a pace if he wants to fulfill his campaign promises.
10. Approximately 6.1% of people were unemployed in Alaska in 2019.
Many US unemployment statistics will show that the most challenging state to land a job is Alaska, where the total number of unemployed people is 6.1%. It's much higher than the average.
Next in line is the District of Columbia with 5.5%, and the third place for unemployment goes to Mississippi, where around 5.4% of people are jobless.
11. The unemployment rate in Vermont decreased from 12.7% to 4.2%.
In recent years, the State of Vermont has had the lowest unemployment rate (around 2.1%). The rate of joblessness even exceeded 16% at some point this year. As companies started re-opening, many employment statistics show that hospitality, manufacturing, construction, and other industries have recorded an increase in employment.
12. Massachusetts offers $823 weekly to every unemployed person.
Massachusetts is the state that offers the highest amount of unemployment benefits for jobless people — $361 more than the average amount. Furthermore, when joblessness rates are high, it offers up to 30 weeks of unemployment insurance.
US Unemployment Rate — Demographics and Education
If you look at the numbers, you will find out 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 unemployment rates, especially in the US, where there are so many nationalities.
13. 10.8% of black people are jobless.
Concerning different worker groups, we can see that the highest percentage of unemployed youths is within the black population — currently 10.8%. The black unemployment rate was estimated at 16.7% in April 2020, but it has decreased significantly despite the pandemic.
14. 30.2% of Midwestern teenagers participated in the labor force and skipped enrolling at school.
Among the major worker groups, it looks like teenagers struggle the most, especially in the Midwest of the US. This school enrollment disengagement is the lowest in the Northeast, where only 22.4% of teenagers joined the labor force.
15. 23% of teenagers in the Midwest neither worked nor enrolled at school during the summer.
The real unemployment rate of young people in America is considerably higher than before. One of the worrying facts is that, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics' newest data, many young people neither work nor go to school.
The levels of teen disengagement are the lowest in the Northeast, where 18.1% of teenagers neither work nor study.
16. The highest unemployment rate is seen in people with less than a high school diploma.
Some interesting data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment chart show that the highest United States unemployment rate is seen among the least educated people. Their joblessness rate was a staggering 21.2% in April 2020.
17. Latino and black women have the highest percentage of unemployment.
Sadly, Hispanic and black women’s joblessness rate is almost twice as high as white men’s rate, even when the percentage of unemployment was the lowest in 2020.
Hispanic women faced a shocking 20.2% unemployment rate in April, while the white men’s unemployment rate was 12.4%. The unemployment rate by year shows consistency when the female workforce statistics are in question.
18. Around 9.8% of high school graduates were unemployed in August 2020.
This year was devastating for everyone, especially for people without a college or university degree. Shocking 17.3% of unemployed high school graduates were recorded in April this year. On the contrary, 3.6% of people with a high school diploma were jobless in April 2019.
19. 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 easier.
Unemployment rates for people with college or associate degrees were even better in August 2019, when only 2.1% of those workers were jobless. Even in 2020, their joblessness rate stands at 5.3%.
20. White men have seen the biggest increase in employment in September.
An unfortunate fact is that discrimination based on gender, race, and ethnicity still prevails. While joblessness rates for adult white men, women, and Asians decreased, it wasn’t the case with Hispanics, black people, and teenagers.
Other Relevant Unemployment Statistics
No one knows what the future holds when unemployment is in question, mostly because many factors influence its rate. Here are some exciting unemployment stats that will help you gain insight into everything that can impact unemployment.
21. Being unemployed for nine months or longer can have detrimental consequences on someone’s career.
Many unemployment statistics point out that being unemployed for six months won't significantly impact someone's career. Still, researchers have noticed a significant decrease in interview calls after nine months of unemployment, mostly for the low-skilled positions. Being unemployed for over a year can drastically reduce someone's chances of getting a job.
22. 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 the unemployment rate of 5% can’t cause harm to the economy. The natural rate of unemployment is completely regular, and it emerges from deliberate unemployment and the replacement of workers by technology.
23. 99,872 people aren’t in the labor force.
In October 2020, 99,872 US residents (both male and female) weren’t in the labor force, and 6,317 of them wanted a job. The number of discouraged workers in October 2020 was 594.
24. The US unemployment rate rose in three months of the pandemic more than it did during the two years of the great depression.
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 than that. The number of unemployed Americans increased by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.
25. Four out of five unemployed workers were on temporary layoff, but many of them are still out of work.
The unemployment rate in the US was a lot worse than it seemed in the beginning. Namely, around 18 million people “temporarily” lost their job in April. Although the numbers have fallen to 4.6 million, there are still many more unemployed persons than before the coronavirus outbreak.
26. The median unemployment rate for December 2020 is predicted to be 6.2%.
Even though the global pandemic hasn’t finished, the predictions regarding unemployment are brighter. The predictions for the US unemployment rate from August were higher by 1.5%. The unemployment rate for Hispanic and black people is predicted to decrease as well.
27. The pandemic is expected to reduce the number of working hours by 6.7% worldwide in Q2 2020.
It means that about 195 million full-time workers all around the world will lose their jobs. Interestingly, out of 195 million people, 125 will be from Asia and the Pacific, while around 24 million will be from America and only 5 million from the Arab States.
28. The US and Canadian airlines are predicted to lose $113 billion in revenue this year.
American unemployment rate regarding retail, airline, food, gambling, and many other industries has increased. Almost all airlines in the world have faced the same fate. The casino gaming industry worth $261 billion had to close in March and temporarily or permanently leave many people jobless.
29. 44% of lower-income adults used money from savings or retirement funds during the coronavirus outbreak.
Furthermore, 35% of them 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% of them have used savings or retirement money to pay their bills. Only 16% of people found it difficult to pay rent or a mortgage.
Unemployment Statistics — Summary
Based on everything we outlined above, it is evident that the US economy has come out of recession and mostly recovered from the global financial crisis. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, things have gotten worse again.
We must consider the fact that many people are willing to work but are not 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 strong or as fragile as its society.