U.S. Employment - Statistics & Facts

The most regularly referenced economic indicator for the state of employment in the United States is the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is the share of the labor force currently without a job but seeking employment. In 2018, the civilian labor force of the United States numbered about 162.07 million people. In economic terms a distinction is made between the labor force and the general population. The employment rate evaluates the share of the total population (excluding institutionalized persons) currently engaged in employment.

There are a multitude of reasons why members of the general population are outside of the civilian labor force. Some of these reasons are desirable, such as early retirement, while others are unavoidable, such as long-term illness or caring for others. However, the proportion of the population who are unemployed so long they lose hope or the desire to continue searching for a job is of great concern to policymakers. This phenomenon has prompted economists and concerned members of the public to raise awareness that the long-term unemployment rate in the United States is actually higher than government statistics suggest.

Like many countries around the world, the United States is struggling with youth unemployment rates higher than the national unemployment rate. In May 2019, the unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 was 8.5 percent. In contrast, the national figure in the same month was 3.6 percent. These rates can partially explain why 35 percent of millennials considered the economy and employment the most important issue for the next president prior to the 2016 U.S. elections.

Looking to the future, young people may look towards training in industries where job numbers are projected to increase. The 20 industries with the largest expected employment growth from 2014 to 2024 suggests that construction and health care might be the way to go. Following similar logic, it may be the time for some people to reconsider their dream career in the U.S. Postal Service.

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 46 most important statistics relating to "Employment in the United States".

Statistics on the topic
U.S. unemployment

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Employment in the United States" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

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