Unemployment rate down 1.2 percentage points from May 2013 to May 2014

June 10, 2014

In May, the unemployment rate held at 6.3 percent, following a decline of 0.4 percentage point in April. The number of unemployed persons was unchanged in May at 9.8 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.

Selected measures of the unemployed, part-time workers, and persons not in the labor force, May 2013 and May 2014
MeasureMay 2013May 2014

Unemployed (seasonally adjusted)

11,690,0009,799,000

Unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted)

7.56.3

 

  

Reason for unemployment (seasonally adjusted)

  

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

6,094,0005,018,000

Job leavers

944,000875,000

Reentrants

3,326,0002,857,000

New entrants

1,257,0001,062,000

 

  

Duration of unemployment (seasonally adjusted)

  

Less than 5 weeks

2,704,0002,559,000

5 to 14 weeks

2,642,0002,390,000

15 to 26 weeks

1,934,0001,441,000

27 weeks and over

4,353,0003,374,000

 

  

Employed persons at work part time (seasonally adjusted)

  

Part time for economic reasons

7,917,0007,269,000

Slack work or business conditions

4,837,0004,453,000

Could only find part-time work

2,697,0002,537,000

Part time for noneconomic reasons

18,957,00019,040,000

 

  

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

  

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,164,0002,130,000

Discouraged workers

780,000697,000

NOTE: Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown here will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 218,000 in May, and by 1.1 million over the year.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.4 million in May. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 979,000.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 7.3 million, changed little in May. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In May, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from May 2013. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 697,000 discouraged workers in May, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in May had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS) program and are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — May 2014," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-14-0987. More charts featuring CPS data can be found in Charting the labor market: Data from the Current Population Survey (PDF). 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate down 1.2 percentage points from May 2013 to May 2014 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140610.htm (visited November 25, 2014).

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