Experiencing unemployment in 2003

December 29, 2004

In 2003, the "work-experience unemployment rate" for all workers—defined as the number unemployed at some time during the year as a proportion of the number who worked or looked for work during the year—was 10.7 percent, down from 11.0 percent in 2002.

Percent with unemployment during the year, 2000-2003
[Chart data—TXT]

The 2003 rate is low by historical standards, but is above the series low of 8.6 percent reached in 2000.

Among those who experienced unemployment in 2003, the median number of weeks spent looking for work was 16.6 weeks, up from 15.5 weeks the year before. About 2.8 million individuals had looked for a job but did not work at all in 2003, about the same as a year earlier.

These data come from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. For additional information, see "Work Experience of the Population in 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-2532.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Experiencing unemployment in 2003 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/dec/wk4/art03.htm (visited September 26, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.