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The Truth Behind America's Unemployment

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Unemployment In America

Unemployment in America remains a problem despite the fact that the official unemployment rates are decreasing. According to Fox News, underlying challenges, such as world trade issues, banking issues, and other macroeconomic issues will continue to plague the job market for years to come.

For recently unemployed individuals, the first few days or weeks may provide a relief from the stress of work, however, according to the American Psychological Association, extended periods of unemployment contribute to major amounts of stress, especially as the time of unemployment drags on.

Unemployment Statistics

The current unemployment rate in the United States is 7.6%, meaning an estimated 11.8 million people are without full-time jobs. The southwest and southeast corners of the country remain the hardest hit, though the biggest changes in unemployment rates over the last few years occurred in some of the northern central states and in the south.

Considering America’s financial history, a 7.6% rate of unemployment is not that problematic. The highest unemployment rate topped-off at 23.6% in 1932 and remained 21.7% in 1934 before going down. Through the 1940’s and 50’s, unemployment remained quite low. However, during the early 1980’s, job loss accelerated, reaching 9.7% in 1982. By 1988 the United States economy growing and unemployment was down to 5.5%.

Year 2000 not only witnesses a roaring stock market, but have the lowest unemployment rate in decades, at4.0%. Unsustainable growth, stock market over-valuations, and several financial crises later, unemployment peaked at 9.8% in November 2010.

Reasons for Unemployment

8 million people in the United States lost their jobs or completed a temporary job, resulting in their unemployment. Over the course of several years, that more than 56.4% who experienced unemployment. Just look at the following numbers:

  • 3,644,000 are re-entrants into the job market.
  • 10.1%, or 1,411,000 unemployed people, are new entrants.
  • 7.5%, or 973,000, left their jobs on their own.

Duration of Unemployment

Many people, 43.1% or so, have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

24.1% have been unemployed between 5 and 14 weeks, while 18.8% spent about a month or less unemployed.

14% endured joblessness for between 15 and 26 weeks.

Persons at Work Part-Time

About 18% of the workforce in the United States is employed part-time.

Of the 25,139,000 part-time workers, 8,604,000 of them are part-time for economic reasons while 5,593,000 cite slack work conditions and 2,579,000 are unable to find full-time work.

Persons with Multiple Jobs

Underemployment has resulted in many people taking more than one job. Most of the 4.7% of employed people with multiple jobs have one full-time and one part-time job. Of the 6,649,000 multiple jobholders in the US, and 3,599,000 of them work this way.

1,061,000 people say their hours vary on one or both of their jobs.

A small portion of people with multiple jobs (241,000) have multiple full-time jobs.

Employment by Selected Industry

The industry with the greatest over-the-month growth was Education and Health Services, with 32.7 hours worked weekly on average and $772.37 earned each week.

Information faced the most losses, though on average they work more and earn more–36.4 hours a week, $1,147.33 earned each week.

Employment by Educational Attainment

College educated candidates with bachelor’s degree or higher have the highest employment, with 44,648,000 working full time. This group also has the lowest rate of unemployment, at 4.6%.

The highest numbers of unemployment remain those without high school diplomas, followed by high school graduates with no college degrees.

Those with less than a diploma also make up the smallest amount of the employed population, at just over 10 million.

Employment by Veteran Status

7.7% of veterans over 18 are unemployed, meaning 877,000 have no jobs, compared to 10,497,000 who do.

Gulf War Era II veterans are suffering the highest rate of unemployment among veterans, at 9.8% or 192,000 unemployed. That’s compared to 1,759,000 who are employed.

Veterans of WWII, the Korean War or Vietnam have the highest rate of employment, at 3,094,000 employed. Just 6.9% or 258,000 of these vets are unemployed.

Employment by Gender and Nativity

Foreign-born women ages 16 and older suffer the highest rate of unemployment, at 9.6%, while foreign-born men ages 16 and older have the lowest rate of unemployment at 7.8%. This is lower than any category of native-born men and women.

Of course, it’s vital to note that the foreign-born workforce is comprised of just over 2 million individuals, while the native-born workers are nearly 12 million.

Wrapping Up

If you’re unemployed or facing unemployment you’re not alone. Arm yourself with these stats, keep your chin up and take the workforce by storm!


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