Unemployment and labor force participation rates down in August 2012

September 11, 2012

In August 2012, the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent. Since the beginning of this year, the rate has held in a narrow range of 8.1 to 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August.

Number of unemployed, and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, August 2010–August 2012
[Chart data]

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.2 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.2 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.0 percent of the unemployed.

Both the civilian labor force (154.6 million) and the labor force participation rate (63.5 percent) declined in August.

Civilian labor force, and labor force participation rate, seasonally adjusted, August 2010–August 2012
[Chart data]

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 8.0 million in August. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

These data are from the Current Population Survey program and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — August 2012," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-12-1796. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment and labor force participation rates down in August 2012 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120911.htm (visited July 22, 2017).


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