February 10, 2000
Of the 146.6 million persons who worked or looked for work at some time in 1998, 14.0 million experienced some unemployment during the year. This compares with the 15.6 million who experienced unemployment in 1997 (out of 145.3 million persons).
Dividing the number who experienced unemployment at some point during the year by the total number who worked or looked for work yields the "work-experience unemployment rate." In 1998, this rate was 9.6 percent—in 1997, the rate was 10.8 percent.
The "work-experience unemployment rate" for blacks, 14.5 percent, was higher than the rates for either Hispanics (12.7 percent) or whites (8.9 percent). In 1998, the difference between the rates for men (9.5 percent) and women (9.7 percent) was negligible. Rates decreased for all five of these demographic groups between 1997 and 1998.