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8.0 percent of people who worked or looked for work experienced unemployment in 2019

December 23, 2020

The number of people who experienced some unemployment during 2019 was 13.6 million, edging up by 401,000 from the number in 2018. Overall, 170.7 million people worked or looked for work at some time in 2019, up 2.0 million from 2018. The work-experience unemployment rate (those looking for work during the year as a percent of those who worked or looked for work during the year) was 8.0 percent in 2019. This is little different from the low of 7.8 percent reached in 2018. (The data began in 1958).

Number of people unemployed at some time during the year as a percent of those who worked or looked for work during the year, 1958–2019
Year Total Men Women

1958

17.9% 19.6% 15.1%

1959

15.3 16.5 13.5

1960

17.2 18.4 15.3

1961

18.4 19.4 16.7

1962

18.2 18.8 17.1

1963

16.7 17.2 15.9

1964

16.2 16.3 16.1

1965

14.1 14.0 14.2

1966

13.0 12.5 13.8

1967

12.9 12.6 13.4

1968

12.4 11.7 13.4

1969

12.5 12.3 12.9

1970

15.3 15.5 15.0

1971

16.3 16.4 16.2

1972

15.5 15.3 15.8

1973

14.3 13.5 15.4

1974

17.9 17.3 18.7

1975

20.2 20.0 20.5

1976

19.1 18.8 19.5

1977

17.9 17.5 18.3

1978

15.9 15.4 16.5

1979

15.8 15.5 16.1

1980

18.1 18.5 17.6

1981

19.5 20.0 19.0

1982

22.0 23.3 20.4

1983

19.6 21.0 17.8

1984

17.4 18.1 16.5

1985

16.7 17.2 16.0

1986

16.2 16.9 15.3

1987

14.1 15.0 13.1

1988

12.9 13.7 12.0

1989

12.9 13.7 12.1

1990

14.7 15.7 13.6

1991

15.7 17.5 13.7

1992

15.8 17.7 13.6

1993

14.8 15.9 13.5

1994

13.5 14.2 12.7

1995

12.8 13.3 12.1

1996

11.7 12.0 11.3

1997

10.8 11.2 10.2

1998

9.6 9.5 9.7

1999

8.8 9.0 8.4

2000

8.6 9.0 8.1

2001

10.4 11.1 9.6

2002

11.0 11.9 9.9

2003

10.7 11.5 9.8

2004

9.7 10.1 9.3

2005

9.3 9.7 8.8

2006

9.1 9.6 8.5

2007

9.5 10.3 8.6

2008

13.2 14.5 11.7

2009

16.4 18.8 13.6

2010

15.9 17.7 13.8

2011

14.9 15.8 13.8

2012

13.9 14.5 13.1

2013

12.9 13.5 12.2

2014

10.9 11.4 10.3

2015

10.2 10.4 10.0

2016

9.4 9.5 9.2

2017

8.6 9.0 8.3

2018

7.8 8.2 7.4

2019

8.0 8.3 7.6

Note: Data for 1966 and later refer to people 16 years and older. Data for 1958–65 are for people 14 years and older.

In 2019, men continued to have a higher work-experience unemployment rate than women—8.3 percent for men, compared with 7.6 percent for women. The rates for both men and women changed little from 2018.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Work Experience of the Population — 2019."

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 8.0 percent of people who worked or looked for work experienced unemployment in 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/8-percent-of-people-who-worked-or-looked-for-work-experienced-unemployment-in-2019.htm (visited April 17, 2021).

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