Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

4.9 percent of families had an unemployed person in 2019, a historical low

April 24, 2020

In 2019, 4.9 percent of families included an unemployed person. That was the lowest point since 1994, the first year for which comparable data are available, when 8.5 percent of families had an unemployed person.

Percent of families with at least one family member unemployed, by race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 1994–2019 annual averages
Year Total families 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

2019

4.9 4.5 7.9 4.1 6.6

In 2019, the percent of families with an unemployed person not only was down from 2018 but was also a historical low for all major race and ethnicity groups. In 2019, Black families (7.9 percent) and Hispanic or Latino families (6.6 percent) remained more likely to have an unemployed member than White (4.5 percent) or Asian (4.1 percent) families.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Employment Characteristics of Families — 2019." A family is a group of two or more people living together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. Families include those with and without children under age 18. The race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity of the family is determined by that 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, 4.9 percent of families had an unemployed person in 2019, a historical low on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/4-point-9-percent-of-families-had-an-unemployed-person-in-2019-a-historical-low.htm (visited October 24, 2020).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

triangle