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5.2 percent of families had an unemployed person in 2018

April 23, 2019

In 2018, 5.2 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 5.8 percent in 2017. This is a low point for the series that goes back to 1994, when 8.5 percent of families had an unemployed person.

Percent of families with at least one family member unemployed, 1994–2018 annual averages
Year Total White Black or
African American
Asian Hispanic or
Latino

1994

8.5% 7.5% 14.4% - 14.2%

1995

7.9 6.9 13.5 - 13.5

1996

7.6 6.7 13.8 - 13.0

1997

7.0 6.1 13.3 - 11.6

1998

6.4 5.6 11.8 - 10.6

1999

6.0 5.3 10.6 - 9.7

2000

5.7 5.0 10.2 - 9.0

2001

6.6 5.8 11.4 - 9.9

2002

7.8 7.0 13.1 9.0 11.2

2003

8.1 7.1 13.7 9.4 11.1

2004

7.4 6.6 12.7 6.7 10.2

2005

7.0 6.1 12.7 6.2 9.0

2006

6.4 5.6 11.4 5.2 8.0

2007

6.3 5.6 10.8 5.4 8.5

2008

7.8 7.1 12.8 6.3 11.0

2009

12.0 11.1 17.4 11.4 16.9

2010

12.4 11.3 19.2 11.3 17.4

2011

11.5 10.4 18.9 10.9 16.3

2012

10.5 9.5 16.8 9.2 14.5

2013

9.6 8.5 16.0 7.8 12.9

2014

8.0 7.0 14.1 7.5 10.8

2015

6.9 6.0 12.0 5.7 9.7

2016

6.5 5.7 10.9 5.6 8.7

2017

5.8 5.2 9.5 5.4 7.7

2018

5.2 4.7 8.4 4.7 7.0

Note: Dash means data are not available. The race or ethnicity of the family is determined by the race or ethnicity of the family reference person in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented.

The percent of families with an unemployed person was down in 2018 for the major race and ethnicity groups. Black and Hispanic families remained more likely to have an unemployed member than White or Asian families. For both White and Asian families, 4.7 percent of families included an unemployed person in 2018; 8.4 percent of Black families and 7.0 percent of Hispanic families had an unemployed person.

The shares of families with an unemployed person were also historic lows in 2018 for all types of families. In 2018, 4.2 percent of married-couple families had an unemployed member. That continued to be less than the shares for families maintained by women (8.0 percent) and families maintained by men (7.7 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Employment Characteristics of Families — 2018." A family is a group of two or more people living together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. Families are classified as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or maintained by men without spouses present. Families include both those without children and those with children under age 18. The race or ethnicity of the family is determined by the race or ethnicity of the family reference person in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented. People whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 5.2 percent of families had an unemployed person in 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/5-point-2-percent-of-families-had-an-unemployed-person-in-2018.htm (visited November 11, 2019).

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