January 11, 1999
The unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 1998 to 4.4 percent in the second quarter. The rate changed very little after that; the fourth quarter unemployment rate was also 4.4 percent. Month-to-month, the jobless rate remained within a narrow range of 4.3 to 4.5 percent from April 1998 onward.
Other measures of labor market activity also improved in 1998:
These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. More information can be found in news release USDL 99-06, "The Employment Situation: December 1998." Quarter-to-quarter comparisons are based on seasonally-adjusted data that have been revised to incorporate experience through December 1998. Over-the-year comparisons reflect adjustments for new composite estimation procedures and revised population controls that were introduced in January 1998.