Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate (in Table Form)

The unemployment rate has been tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since 1948. This is also known as the Seasonally Adjusted U-3 Unemployment Rate.

See how the Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate compares to the Unadjusted Rate.

This table shows Seasonally Adjusted Monthly Unemployment Rates from 1948 through the present:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2014 6.6% 6.7% 6.7% 6.3%  6.3% 6.1% 6.2% 6.1% 5.9% NA NA NA
2013 7.9% 7.7% 7.6% 7.5% 7.6% 7.6% 7.4% 7.3% 7.2% 7.3% 7.0% 6.7%
2012 8.3% 8.3% 8.2% 8.1% 8.2% 8.2% 8.3% 8.1% 7.8% 7.9% 7.8% 7.8%
2011 9.0% 9.0% 8.9% 9.0% 9.0% 9.1% 9.1% 9.1% 9.0% 8.9% 8.7% 8.5%
2010 9.0% 9.7% 9.7% 9.8% 9.6% 9.5% 9.5% 9.6% 9.6% 9.7% 9.8% 9.4%
2009 7.0% 8.2% 8.6% 8.9% 9.4% 9.5% 9.5% 9.7% 9.8% 10.1% 9.9% 9.9%
2008 500% 4.8% 5.1% 4.9% 5.4% 5.6% 5.8% 6.1% 6.2% 6.6% 6.8% 7.3%
2007 4.0% 4.5% 4.4% 4.5% 4.4% 4.6% 4.7% 4.6% 4.7% 4.7% 4.7% 5.0%
2006 4.0% 4.8% 4.7% 4.7% 4.6% 4.6% 4.7% 4.7% 4.5% 4.4% 4.5% 4.4%
2005 5.3% 5.4% 5.2% 5.2% 5.1% 5.0% 5.0% 4.9% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 4.9%
2004 5.7% 5.6% 5.8% 5.6% 5.6% 5.6% 5.5% 5.4% 5.4% 5.5% 5.4% 5.4%
2003 5.8% 5.9% 5.9% 6.0% 6.1% 6.3% 6.2% 6.1% 6.1% 6.0% 5.8% 5.7%
2002 5.7% 5.7% 5.7% 5.9% 5.8% 5.8% 5.8% 5.7% 5.7% 5.7% 5.9% 6.0%
2001 4.2% 4.2% 4.3% 4.4% 4.3% 4.5% 4.6% 4.9% 5.0% 5.3% 5.5% 5.7%
2000 4.0% 4.1% 4.0% 3.8% 4.0% 4.0% 4.0% 4.1% 3.9% 3.9% 3.9% 3.9%
1999 4.3% 4.4% 4.2% 4.3% 4.2% 4.3% 4.3% 4.2% 4.2% 4.1% 4.1% 4.0%
1998 4.6% 4.6% 4.7% 4.3% 4.4% 4.5% 4.5% 4.5% 4.6% 4.5% 4.40 4.4%
1997 5.3% 5.2% 5.2% 5.1% 4.9% 5.0% 4.9% 4.8% 4.9% 4.7% 4.6% 4.7%
1996 5.6% 5.5% 5.5% 5.6% 5.6% 5.3% 5.5% 5.1% 5.2% 5.2% 5.4% 5.4%
1995 5.6% 5.4% 5.4% 5.8% 5.6% 5.6% 5.7% 5.7% 5.6% 5.5% 5.6% 5.6%
1994 6.6% 6.6% 6.5% 6.4% 6.1% 6.1% 6.1% 6.0% 5.9% 5.8% 5.6% 5.5%
1993 7.3% 7.1% 7.0% 7.1% 7.1% 7.0% 6.9% 6.8% 6.7% 6.8% 6.6% 6.5%
1992 7.3% 7.4% 7.4% 7.4% 7.6% 7.8% 7.7% 7.6% 7.6% 7.3% 7.4% 7.4%
1991 6.4% 6.6% 6.8% 6.7% 6.9% 6.9% 6.8% 6.9% 6.9% 7.0% 7.0% 7.3%
1990 5.4% 5.3% 5.2% 5.4% 5.4% 5.2% 5.5% 5.7% 5.9% 5.9% 6.2% 6.3%
1989 5.4% 5.2% 5.0% 5.2% 5.2% 5.3% 5.2% 5.2% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 5.4%
1988 5.7% 5.7% 5.7% 5.40% 5.6% 5.4% 5.4% 5.6% 5.4% 5.4% 5.3% 5.3%
1987 6.6% 6.6% 6.6% 6.3% 6.3% 6.2% 6.1% 6.0% 5.9% 6.0% 5.8% 5.7%
1986 6.7% 7.2% 7.2% 7.1% 7.2% 7.2% 7.0% 6.9% 7.0% 7.0% 6.9% 6.6%
1985 7.3% 7.2% 7.2% 7.3% 7.2% 7.4% 7.4% 7.1% 7.1% 7.1% 7.0% 7.0%
1984 8.0% 7.8% 7.8% 7.7% 7.4% 7.2% 7.5% 7.5% 7.3% 7.4% 7.2% 7.3%
1983 10.4% 10.4% 10.3% 10.2% 10.1% 10.1% 9.4% 9.5% 9.2% 8.8% 8.50 8.3%
1982 8.6% 8.9% 9.0% 9.3% 9.4% 9.6% 9.8% 9.8% 10.1% 10.4% 10.8% 10.8%
1981 7.5% 7.4% 7.4% 7.2% 7.5% 7.5% 7.2% 7.4% 7.6% 7.9% 8.3% 8.5%
1980 6.3% 6.3% 6.3% 6.9% 7.5% 7.6% 7.8% 7.7% 7.5% 7.5% 7.5% 7.2%
1979 5.9% 5.9% 5.8% 5.8% 5.6% 5.7% 5.7% 6.0% 5.9% 6.0% 5.9% 6.0%
1978 6.4% 6.3% 6.3% 6.1% 6.0% 5.9% 6.2% 5.9% 6.0% 5.8% 5.9% 6.0%
1977 7.5% 7.6% 7.4% 7.2% 7.0% 7.2% 6.9% 7.0% 6.8% 6.8% 6.8% 6.4%
1976 7.9% 7.7% 7.6% 7.7% 7.4% 7.6% 7.8% 7.8% 7.6% 7.7% 7.8% 7.8%
1975 8.1% 8.1% 8.6% 8.8% 9.0% 8.8% 8.6% 8.4% 8.4% 8.4% 8.3% 8.2%
1974 5.1% 5.2% 5.1% 5.1% 5.1% 5.4% 5.5% 5.5% 5.9% 6.0% 6.6% 7.2%
1973 4.9% 5.0% 4.9% 5.0% 4.9% 4.9% 4.8% 4.8% 4.8% 4.6% 4.8% 4.9%
1972 5.8% 5.7% 5.8% 5.7% 5.7% 5.7% 5.6% 5.6% 5.5% 5.6% 5.3% 5.2%
1971 5.9% 5.9% 6.0% 5.9% 5.9% 5.9% 6.0% 6.1% 6.0% 5.8% 6.0% 6.0%
1970 3.9% 4.2% 4.4% 4.6% 4.8% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% 5.4% 5.5% 5.9% 6.1%
1969 3.4% 3.4% 3.4% 3.4% 3.4% 3.5% 3.5% 3.5% 3.7% 3.7% 3.5% 3.5%
1968 3.7% 3.8% 3.7% 3.5% 3.5% 3.7% 3.7% 3.5% 3.4% 3.4% 3.4% 3.4%
1967 3.9% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 3.9% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 4.0% 3.9% 3.8%
1966 4.0% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 3.9% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 3.7% 3.7% 3.6% 3.8%
1965 4.9% 5.1% 4.7% 4.8% 4.6% 4.6% 4.4% 4.4% 4.3% 4.2% 4.1% 4.0%
1964 5.6% 5.4% 5.4% 5.3% 5.1% 5.2% 4.9% 5.0% 5.1% 5.1% 4.8% 5.0%
1963 5.7% 5.9% 5.7% 5.7% 5.9% 5.6% 5.6% 5.4% 5.5% 5.5% 5.7% 5.5%
1962 5.8% 5.5% 5.6% 5.6% 5.5% 5.5% 5.4% 5.7% 5.6% 5.4% 5.7% 5.5%
1961 6.6% 6.9% 6.9% 7.0% 7.1% 6.9% 7.0% 6.6% 6.7% 6.5% 6.1% 6.0%
1960 5.2% 4.8% 5.4% 5.2% 5.1% 5.4% 5.5% 5.6% 5.5% 6.1% 6.1% 6.6%
1959 6.0% 5.9% 5.6% 5.2% 5.1% 5.0% 5.1% 5.2% 5.5% 5.7% 5.8% 5.3%
1958 5.8% 6.4% 6.7% 7.4% 7.4% 7.3% 7.5% 7.4% 7.1% 6.7% 6.2% 6.2%
1957 4.2% 3.9% 3.7% 3.9% 4.1% 4.3% 4.2% 4.1% 4.4% 4.5% 5.1% 5.2%
1956 4.0% 3.9% 4.2% 4.0% 4.3% 4.3% 4.4% 4.1% 3.9% 3.9% 4.3% 4.2%
1955 4.9% 4.7% 4.6% 4.7% 4.3% 4.2% 4.0% 4.2% 4.1% 4.3% 4.2% 4.2%
1954 4.9% 5.2% 5.7% 5.9% 5.9% 5.6% 5.8% 6.0% 6.1% 5.7% 5.3% 5.0%
1953 2.9% 2.6% 2.6% 2.7% 2.5% 2.5% 2.6% 2.7% 2.9% 3.1% 3.5% 4.5%
1952 3.2% 3.1% 2.9% 2.9% 3.0% 3.0% 3.2% 3.4% 3.1% 3.0% 2.8% 2.7%
1951 3.7% 3.4% 3.4% 3.1% 3.0% 3.2% 3.1% 3.1% 3.3% 3.5% 3.5% 3.1%
1950 6.5% 6.4% 6.3% 5.8% 5.5% 5.4% 5.0% 4.5% 4.4% 4.2% 4.2% 4.3%
1949 4.3% 4.7% 5.0% 5.3% 6.1% 6.2% 6.7% 6.8% 6.6% 7.9% 6.4% 6.6%
1948 3.4% 3.8% 4.0% 3.9% 3.5% 3.6% 3.6% 3.9% 3.8% 3.7% 3.8% 4.0%

For more information on the other measurements of the Unemployment rate see: What is U-6 Unemployment?

The unemployment rate is not as accurate as the Current Employment Data in determining how many people are actually employed.

Unemployment Rate Chart

Misery Index- Created by economist Arthur Okun to help gauge the level of misery the average person is suffering. It is a combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate.

Is the Government Fudging Unemployment Numbers?

Unemployment and Employment Charts

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How the Unemployment Rate is Determined

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the all important “Unemployment Rate” is based on a survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS). The government calls up 60,000 households every month and then estimates the unemployment rate based on that sample.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate

Photo of a sculpture at the FDR Memorial by
Woodley Wonder Works depicting the unemployed men during the Great Depression.

See Current Unemployment Rate for more information.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Seasonally Adjusted UnEmployment Rate

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