The US unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in December 2018 from a 49-year low of 3.7 percent in the previous month, and above market expectations of 3.7 percent. It was the highest jobless rate since July, as the number of unemployed persons rose by 276 thousand to 6.3 million. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.77 percent from 1948 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953.

Unemployment Rate in the United States is expected to be 3.70 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in the United States to stand at 3.70 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 4.50 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States Unemployment Rate
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-10-05 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.7% 3.9% 3.8% 3.9%
2018-11-02 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7%
2018-12-07 01:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7%
2019-01-04 01:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.9% 3.7% 3.7% 3.97%
2019-02-01 01:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.9% 3.9% 3.80%
2019-03-08 01:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.80%
2019-04-05 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate 3.80%



US Jobless Rate Rises to 3.9% in December

The US unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in December 2018 from a 49-year low of 3.7 percent in the previous month, and above market expectations of 3.7 percent. It was the highest jobless rate since July, as the number of unemployed persons increased by 276 thousand to 6.3 million and employment advanced by 142 thousand to 156.9 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.6 percent) and Blacks (6.6 percent) increased in December. The jobless rates for adult women (3.5 percent), teenagers (12.5 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Asians (3.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) recorded little or no change over the month.

Among the unemployed, the number of job leavers went up by 142,000 in December to 839,000. Job leavers are unemployed persons who quit or otherwise voluntarily left their previous job and immediately began looking for new employment.

In December, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.5 percent of the unemployed. Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 205,000.

The labor force participation rate, at 63.1 percent, changed little in December, and the employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent for the third consecutive month. Both measures were up by 0.4 percentage point over the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 4.7 million, changed little in December but was down by 329,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

In December, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.


BLS | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
1/4/2019 1:52:37 PM



United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 3.90 3.70 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 312.00 176.00 1115.00 -1967.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 301.00 173.00 1089.00 -821.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 11.00 3.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls 32.00 27.00 572.00 -519.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 213.00 216.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 1737.00 1719.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 271.00 157.00 384.00 -836.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 156945.00 156803.00 156945.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 6294.00 6018.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.40 0.20 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.50 34.40 34.60 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 63.10 62.90 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 0.80 0.77 4.40 0.08 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 8.70 8.10 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Labour Costs 109.05 108.81 109.60 17.00 Index Points [+]
Productivity 105.69 105.10 105.69 26.03 Index Points [+]
Job Vacancies 6540.00 7320.00 7320.00 2132.00 Thousand [+]
Job Offers 6888.00 7131.00 7293.00 2196.00 Thousand [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 43884.00 53073.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 23.05 22.96 23.05 2.50 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 4.20 4.49 13.78 -5.88 percent [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 21.91 21.80 21.91 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Employment Cost Index 0.80 0.60 1.60 0.20 percent [+]
Population 325.72 323.41 325.72 76.09 Million [+]
Retirement Age Women 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Retirement Age Men 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Employment Rate 60.60 60.60 64.70 55.00 percent [+]
Full Time Employment 129913.00 129755.00 129913.00 64640.00 Thousand [+]
Part Time Employment 26994.00 27039.00 28134.00 10086.00 Thousand [+]
Living Wage Family 2380.00 2270.00 2380.00 2160.00 USD/Month [+]
Living Wage Individual 1660.00 1560.00 1660.00 1450.00 USD/Month [+]
Wages High Skilled 4520.00 4330.00 4950.00 4330.00 USD/Month [+]
Wages Low Skilled 1960.00 1760.00 2340.00 1760.00 USD/Month [+]


United States Unemployment Rate

In the United States, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Unemployment Rate - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on January of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
3.90 3.70 10.80 2.50 1948 - 2018 percent Monthly




Country Last Previous
South Africa 27.50 Sep/18
Spain 14.55 Sep/18
Brazil 11.60 Nov/18
Turkey 11.60 Oct/18
Italy 10.50 Nov/18
France 9.10 Sep/18
Argentina 9.00 Sep/18
Euro Area 7.90 Nov/18
Saudi Arabia 6.00 Jun/18
Canada 5.60 Dec/18
Indonesia 5.34 Sep/18
Australia 5.10 Nov/18
Russia 4.80 Nov/18
United Kingdom 4.10 Oct/18
United States 3.90 Dec/18
China 3.80 Dec/18
South Korea 3.80 Dec/18
Netherlands 3.60 Dec/18
India 3.52 Dec/17
Germany 3.30 Nov/18
Mexico 3.30 Nov/18
Switzerland 2.70 Dec/18
Japan 2.50 Nov/18
Singapore 2.10 Sep/18


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