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.
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.