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.




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