The US unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in September 2019 from 3.7 percent in the previous month and above below market expectations of 3.7 percent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.8 million. The labor force participation rate came in at 63.2 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.74 percent from 1948 until 2019, 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 3.90 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 4.10 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States Unemployment Rate
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-07-05 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate Jun 3.7% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6%
2019-08-02 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate Jul 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.6%
2019-09-06 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate Aug 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.6%
2019-10-04 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate Sep 3.5% 3.7% 3.7% 3.6%
2019-11-01 12:30 PM Unemployment Rate Oct 3.5% 3.6% 3.7%
2019-12-06 01:30 PM Unemployment Rate Nov 3.7%



US Jobless Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1969

The US unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in September 2019 from 3.7 percent in the previous month and above below market expectations of 3.7 percent. The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.8 million.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Whites declined to 3.2 percent in September. The jobless rates for adult men (3.2 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (12.5 percent), Blacks (5.5 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month. 

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 304,000 to 2.6 million in September, while the number of new entrants increased by 103,000 to 677,000. New entrants are unemployed persons who never previously worked. 

In September, the number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks fell by 339,000 to 1.9 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.3 million and accounted for 22.7 percent of the unemployed. 

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in September. The employment-population ratio, at 61.0 percent, was little changed over the month but was up by 0.6 percentage point over the year. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.4 million in September. 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 September, 1.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 278,000 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. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 321,000 discouraged workers in September, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 978,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 


BLS | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com
10/4/2019 12:39:11 PM



United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 3.50 3.70 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 136.00 168.00 1118.00 -1959.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 114.00 122.00 1092.00 -1766.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 22.00 34.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls -2.00 2.00 655.00 -1715.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 214.00 210.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 1679.00 1689.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 135.00 157.00 360.00 -706.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 158269.00 157878.00 158269.00 57635.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 5769.00 6044.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.00 0.40 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.40 34.40 34.60 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 63.20 63.20 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 0.71 0.87 4.40 0.08 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 8.00 8.60 19.50 7.80 percent [+]
Labour Costs 111.98 111.28 111.98 17.00 Index Points [+]
Productivity 107.54 106.93 107.54 25.99 Index Points [+]
Job Vacancies 7034.00 7471.00 7884.00 2157.00 Thousand [+]
Job Offers 7051.00 7174.00 7626.00 2264.00 Thousand [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 41557.00 53480.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 23.65 23.59 23.65 2.50 USD/Hour [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 22.25 22.19 22.25 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 5.34 5.25 13.78 -5.88 percent [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Employment Cost Index 0.60 0.70 2.00 0.20 percent [+]
Population 327.17 325.15 327.17 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 61.00 60.90 64.70 55.00 percent [+]
Full Time Employment 131094.00 130789.00 131094.00 64640.00 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 [+]
Part Time Employment 27095.00 26974.00 28134.00 10086.00 Thousand [+]
Wages Low Skilled 1960.00 1760.00 2340.00 1760.00 USD/Month [+]
Wages High Skilled 4520.00 4330.00 4950.00 4330.00 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 October of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
3.50 3.70 10.80 2.50 1948 - 2019 percent Monthly




Country Last Previous
South Africa 29.00 Jun/19
Spain 14.02 Jun/19
Turkey 13.90 Jul/19
Brazil 11.80 Aug/19
Argentina 10.60 Jun/19
Italy 9.50 Aug/19
France 8.50 Jun/19
Euro Area 7.40 Aug/19
India 6.00 Dec/18
Saudi Arabia 5.60 Jun/19
Canada 5.50 Sep/19
Australia 5.20 Sep/19
Indonesia 5.01 Mar/19
Russia 4.50 Sep/19
United Kingdom 3.90 Aug/19
Mexico 3.80 Sep/19
China 3.61 Jun/19
Netherlands 3.50 Sep/19
United States 3.50 Sep/19
South Korea 3.40 Sep/19
Germany 3.10 Aug/19
Japan 2.20 Aug/19
Singapore 2.20 Jun/19
Switzerland 2.10 Sep/19


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