NPR logo Looking At Unemployment By Age, Education And Duration


Looking At Unemployment By Age, Education And Duration

Unemployment has reached its lowest level since March of 2009, according to this morning's jobs report.

The latest unemployment rate of — 8.6 percent — represents millions of people, and you can break it down lots of different ways. Here are a few ways to think about it.


The chart above shows the number of people officially counted in the unemployment rate as well as what the BLS calls the U-6. The U-6 includes people who are not "actively" looking for work as well as people who aren't able to find enough work — people working part-time who want to be full-time. The U-6 rate for November is a much higher number than the official unemployment rate — 15.6 percent.

A little over 40 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for 6 months or more. This number is up slightly from last month, and it's been above 40 percent since December of 2009.

Duration Of Unemployment


The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma remains persistently high. Last month it was 13.2 percent.

Unemployment Rate By Education


Across all age groups, the unemployment rate has fallen from a year earlier.

Unemployment Rate By Age


Despite the falling unemployment rate, the jobs picture still looks pretty bleak.