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9.0 million people not in labor force but want a job in May 2020

June 10, 2020

In May 2020, there were 101.8 million people who were not in the labor force. Within this group, 9.0 million said they wanted a job. There were 9.9 million people who were not in the labor force but wanted a job in April 2020, which was an increase of 4.4 million over the 5.5 million in this category in March. In both April and May, people who wanted a job represented roughly 1 in 10 of those not in the labor force, much higher than in earlier months.

Persons not in the labor force who want a job, seasonally adjusted
Month Persons not in labor force who want a job

May 2000

4,385,000

Jun 2000

4,313,000

Jul 2000

4,430,000

Aug 2000

4,290,000

Sep 2000

4,389,000

Oct 2000

4,393,000

Nov 2000

4,332,000

Dec 2000

4,551,000

Jan 2001

4,401,000

Feb 2001

4,571,000

Mar 2001

4,297,000

Apr 2001

4,509,000

May 2001

4,516,000

Jun 2001

4,637,000

Jul 2001

4,489,000

Aug 2001

4,900,000

Sep 2001

4,577,000

Oct 2001

4,691,000

Nov 2001

4,751,000

Dec 2001

4,737,000

Jan 2002

4,803,000

Feb 2002

4,559,000

Mar 2002

4,598,000

Apr 2002

4,609,000

May 2002

4,825,000

Jun 2002

4,766,000

Jul 2002

4,847,000

Aug 2002

4,627,000

Sep 2002

4,687,000

Oct 2002

4,429,000

Nov 2002

4,733,000

Dec 2002

4,567,000

Jan 2003

4,632,000

Feb 2003

4,600,000

Mar 2003

4,916,000

Apr 2003

4,451,000

May 2003

4,810,000

Jun 2003

4,740,000

Jul 2003

4,855,000

Aug 2003

4,830,000

Sep 2003

4,832,000

Oct 2003

4,760,000

Nov 2003

4,534,000

Dec 2003

4,695,000

Jan 2004

4,769,000

Feb 2004

4,750,000

Mar 2004

4,816,000

Apr 2004

4,690,000

May 2004

4,741,000

Jun 2004

4,648,000

Jul 2004

4,661,000

Aug 2004

4,933,000

Sep 2004

4,930,000

Oct 2004

5,277,000

Nov 2004

5,113,000

Dec 2004

4,949,000

Jan 2005

4,992,000

Feb 2005

4,968,000

Mar 2005

5,018,000

Apr 2005

5,114,000

May 2005

4,771,000

Jun 2005

5,222,000

Jul 2005

4,947,000

Aug 2005

4,813,000

Sep 2005

4,990,000

Oct 2005

4,993,000

Nov 2005

4,818,000

Dec 2005

5,183,000

Jan 2006

4,964,000

Feb 2006

4,901,000

Mar 2006

4,918,000

Apr 2006

4,719,000

May 2006

4,635,000

Jun 2006

4,726,000

Jul 2006

4,862,000

Aug 2006

4,951,000

Sep 2006

4,666,000

Oct 2006

4,868,000

Nov 2006

4,818,000

Dec 2006

4,390,000

Jan 2007

4,506,000

Feb 2007

4,706,000

Mar 2007

4,565,000

Apr 2007

4,794,000

May 2007

4,968,000

Jun 2007

4,857,000

Jul 2007

4,737,000

Aug 2007

4,827,000

Sep 2007

4,750,000

Oct 2007

4,352,000

Nov 2007

4,648,000

Dec 2007

4,657,000

Jan 2008

4,846,000

Feb 2008

4,739,000

Mar 2008

4,718,000

Apr 2008

4,733,000

May 2008

4,851,000

Jun 2008

4,929,000

Jul 2008

5,023,000

Aug 2008

4,922,000

Sep 2008

5,153,000

Oct 2008

5,094,000

Nov 2008

5,421,000

Dec 2008

5,431,000

Jan 2009

5,708,000

Feb 2009

5,617,000

Mar 2009

5,807,000

Apr 2009

5,927,000

May 2009

5,986,000

Jun 2009

5,908,000

Jul 2009

6,003,000

Aug 2009

5,649,000

Sep 2009

5,949,000

Oct 2009

6,002,000

Nov 2009

5,998,000

Dec 2009

6,186,000

Jan 2010

5,942,000

Feb 2010

6,098,000

Mar 2010

5,993,000

Apr 2010

5,913,000

May 2010

5,824,000

Jun 2010

5,909,000

Jul 2010

5,895,000

Aug 2010

6,037,000

Sep 2010

6,270,000

Oct 2010

6,289,000

Nov 2010

6,182,000

Dec 2010

6,431,000

Jan 2011

6,472,000

Feb 2011

6,390,000

Mar 2011

6,527,000

Apr 2011

6,537,000

May 2011

6,289,000

Jun 2011

6,519,000

Jul 2011

6,513,000

Aug 2011

6,463,000

Sep 2011

6,262,000

Oct 2011

6,384,000

Nov 2011

6,538,000

Dec 2011

6,323,000

Jan 2012

6,343,000

Feb 2012

6,335,000

Mar 2012

6,302,000

Apr 2012

6,426,000

May 2012

6,309,000

Jun 2012

6,564,000

Jul 2012

6,516,000

Aug 2012

7,011,000

Sep 2012

6,817,000

Oct 2012

6,551,000

Nov 2012

6,833,000

Dec 2012

6,728,000

Jan 2013

6,637,000

Feb 2013

6,772,000

Mar 2013

6,670,000

Apr 2013

6,428,000

May 2013

6,726,000

Jun 2013

6,614,000

Jul 2013

6,526,000

Aug 2013

6,284,000

Sep 2013

6,119,000

Oct 2013

6,024,000

Nov 2013

5,754,000

Dec 2013

6,126,000

Jan 2014

6,360,000

Feb 2014

6,011,000

Mar 2014

6,174,000

Apr 2014

6,207,000

May 2014

6,553,000

Jun 2014

6,207,000

Jul 2014

6,264,000

Aug 2014

6,376,000

Sep 2014

6,326,000

Oct 2014

6,431,000

Nov 2014

6,558,000

Dec 2014

6,406,000

Jan 2015

6,300,000

Feb 2015

6,503,000

Mar 2015

6,355,000

Apr 2015

6,221,000

May 2015

6,051,000

Jun 2015

6,130,000

Jul 2015

6,097,000

Aug 2015

5,890,000

Sep 2015

5,868,000

Oct 2015

5,997,000

Nov 2015

5,649,000

Dec 2015

5,909,000

Jan 2016

5,988,000

Feb 2016

5,894,000

Mar 2016

5,737,000

Apr 2016

5,802,000

May 2016

5,972,000

Jun 2016

5,702,000

Jul 2016

5,910,000

Aug 2016

5,749,000

Sep 2016

6,008,000

Oct 2016

5,906,000

Nov 2016

5,858,000

Dec 2016

5,648,000

Jan 2017

5,739,000

Feb 2017

5,610,000

Mar 2017

5,809,000

Apr 2017

5,698,000

May 2017

5,503,000

Jun 2017

5,340,000

Jul 2017

5,405,000

Aug 2017

5,725,000

Sep 2017

5,644,000

Oct 2017

5,241,000

Nov 2017

5,205,000

Dec 2017

5,273,000

Jan 2018

5,169,000

Feb 2018

5,143,000

Mar 2018

5,096,000

Apr 2018

5,156,000

May 2018

5,233,000

Jun 2018

5,258,000

Jul 2018

5,194,000

Aug 2018

5,356,000

Sep 2018

5,290,000

Oct 2018

5,375,000

Nov 2018

5,387,000

Dec 2018

5,312,000

Jan 2019

5,239,000

Feb 2019

5,206,000

Mar 2019

5,196,000

Apr 2019

5,105,000

May 2019

5,037,000

Jun 2019

5,312,000

Jul 2019

5,016,000

Aug 2019

5,117,000

Sep 2019

4,861,000

Oct 2019

4,756,000

Nov 2019

4,832,000

Dec 2019

4,832,000

Jan 2020

4,904,000

Feb 2020

4,962,000

Mar 2020

5,509,000

Apr 2020

9,916,000

May 2020

8,962,000

A year earlier, in May 2019, 96.1 million people were not in the labor force and 5.0 million of these reported wanting a job.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. For more information, see "The Employment Situation — May 2020" and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the May data. Also see more charts on unemployment and the labor force. People not in the labor force are those who do not meet the criteria to be classified as either employed or unemployed.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 9.0 million people not in labor force but want a job in May 2020 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/9-point-0-million-people-not-in-labor-force-but-want-a-job-in-may-2020.htm (visited July 13, 2020).

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