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Employment–population ratio, 59.7 percent; unemployment rate, 4.7 percent in May

June 07, 2016

In May 2016, there were 151 million employed people among the 253 million that made up the civilian noninstitutional population. The employment–population ratio was 59.7 percent. There were 7.4 million unemployed people in May. The civilian labor force (the number of employed plus the number of unemployed) was 158 million. The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed divided by the labor force, expressed as a percentage) was 4.7 percent.

Employment–population ratio and unemployment rate, January 2006–May 2016
Month Employment–population ratio Unemployment rate

Jan 2006

62.9 4.7

Feb 2006

63.0 4.8

Mar 2006

63.1 4.7

Apr 2006

63.0 4.7

May 2006

63.1 4.6

Jun 2006

63.1 4.6

Jul 2006

63.0 4.7

Aug 2006

63.1 4.7

Sep 2006

63.1 4.5

Oct 2006

63.3 4.4

Nov 2006

63.3 4.5

Dec 2006

63.4 4.4

Jan 2007

63.3 4.6

Feb 2007

63.3 4.5

Mar 2007

63.3 4.4

Apr 2007

63.0 4.5

May 2007

63.0 4.4

Jun 2007

63.0 4.6

Jul 2007

62.9 4.7

Aug 2007

62.7 4.6

Sep 2007

62.9 4.7

Oct 2007

62.7 4.7

Nov 2007

62.9 4.7

Dec 2007

62.7 5.0

Jan 2008

62.9 5.0

Feb 2008

62.8 4.9

Mar 2008

62.7 5.1

Apr 2008

62.7 5.0

May 2008

62.5 5.4

Jun 2008

62.4 5.6

Jul 2008

62.2 5.8

Aug 2008

62.0 6.1

Sep 2008

61.9 6.1

Oct 2008

61.7 6.5

Nov 2008

61.4 6.8

Dec 2008

61.0 7.3

Jan 2009

60.6 7.8

Feb 2009

60.3 8.3

Mar 2009

59.9 8.7

Apr 2009

59.8 9.0

May 2009

59.6 9.4

Jun 2009

59.4 9.5

Jul 2009

59.3 9.5

Aug 2009

59.1 9.6

Sep 2009

58.7 9.8

Oct 2009

58.5 10.0

Nov 2009

58.6 9.9

Dec 2009

58.3 9.9

Jan 2010

58.5 9.8

Feb 2010

58.5 9.8

Mar 2010

58.5 9.9

Apr 2010

58.7 9.9

May 2010

58.6 9.6

Jun 2010

58.5 9.4

Jul 2010

58.5 9.4

Aug 2010

58.6 9.5

Sep 2010

58.5 9.5

Oct 2010

58.3 9.4

Nov 2010

58.2 9.8

Dec 2010

58.3 9.3

Jan 2011

58.3 9.1

Feb 2011

58.4 9.0

Mar 2011

58.4 9.0

Apr 2011

58.4 9.1

May 2011

58.3 9.0

Jun 2011

58.2 9.1

Jul 2011

58.2 9.0

Aug 2011

58.3 9.0

Sep 2011

58.4 9.0

Oct 2011

58.4 8.8

Nov 2011

58.6 8.6

Dec 2011

58.6 8.5

Jan 2012

58.4 8.3

Feb 2012

58.5 8.3

Mar 2012

58.6 8.2

Apr 2012

58.5 8.2

May 2012

58.5 8.2

Jun 2012

58.6 8.2

Jul 2012

58.5 8.2

Aug 2012

58.4 8.1

Sep 2012

58.7 7.8

Oct 2012

58.8 7.8

Nov 2012

58.7 7.7

Dec 2012

58.6 7.9

Jan 2013

58.5 8.0

Feb 2013

58.6 7.7

Mar 2013

58.5 7.5

Apr 2013

58.6 7.6

May 2013

58.6 7.5

Jun 2013

58.6 7.5

Jul 2013

58.7 7.3

Aug 2013

58.7 7.3

Sep 2013

58.7 7.3

Oct 2013

58.3 7.2

Nov 2013

58.6 6.9

Dec 2013

58.6 6.7

Jan 2014

58.8 6.6

Feb 2014

58.8 6.7

Mar 2014

59.0 6.7

Apr 2014

58.9 6.2

May 2014

58.9 6.2

Jun 2014

59.0 6.1

Jul 2014

59.0 6.2

Aug 2014

59.0 6.2

Sep 2014

59.1 6.0

Oct 2014

59.3 5.7

Nov 2014

59.2 5.8

Dec 2014

59.2 5.6

Jan 2015

59.3 5.7

Feb 2015

59.3 5.5

Mar 2015

59.3 5.5

Apr 2015

59.3 5.4

May 2015

59.4 5.5

Jun 2015

59.3 5.3

Jul 2015

59.3 5.3

Aug 2015

59.4 5.1

Sep 2015

59.3 5.1

Oct 2015

59.3 5.0

Nov 2015

59.4 5.0

Dec 2015

59.5 5.0

Jan 2016

59.6 4.9

Feb 2016

59.8 4.9

Mar 2016

59.9 5.0

Apr 2016

59.7 5.0

May 2016

59.7 4.7

The employment–population ratio, at 59.7 percent, was unchanged in May. The unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, was 0.3 percentage point lower than a month earlier. A year earlier, in May 2015, the employment–population ratio was 59.4 percent and the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

During late 2006 and early 2007, the unemployment rate was at its recent low, 4.4 percent. In October 2009, the rate was 10.0 percent. In December 2006, the employment–population ratio was 63.4 percent, its recent high. During 2010 and 2011, the ratio reached its recent low, 58.2 percent.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. For more information about employment and unemployment in May, see "The Employment Situation — May 2016" (HTML) (PDF). For more charts featuring Current Population Survey data, see Charts related to the latest "The Employment Situation" news release. The civilian noninstitutional population is all persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia who do not live in institutions (for example, correctional facilities, long-term care hospitals, and nursing homes) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment–population ratio, 59.7 percent; unemployment rate, 4.7 percent in May on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/employment-population-ratio-59-point-7-percent-unemployment-rate-4-point-7-percent-in-may.htm (visited November 11, 2019).

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