Breaking Down the Unemployment Rate

Sarah Vanderbilt | March 9, 1:29 pm

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that the national unemployment rate held steady in February at 8.3 percent of the labor force. Breaking down that number by demographic group reveals some interesting trends.

As the national unemployment rate rose to 10 percent during the depths of the jobs crisis, the rate for women remained between 8 and 9 percent, while men saw higher than average unemployment. Those rates have now come back together, which historically has happened during recoveries.

Unemployment among black and Hispanic Americans remains well above average, but those rates are down from peaks of 16.7 and 13.1 percent respectively. A college degree continues to provide significant insulation from a still-difficult job market.

About the Data

Unemployment data is reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and made available online in the the historical “A” tables¬†of the Current Population Survey.