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11.4 percent of unemployed in July 2023 were on temporary layoff

August 11, 2023

The unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, was little changed in July 2023 and has ranged from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent since March 2022. The number of people unemployed stood at 5.8 million, also little changed over the month. Of these, 667,000, or 11.4 percent, were on a temporary layoff from their job in July 2023. This was down from 842,000, or 14.0 percent of all unemployed persons, a month earlier. The percentage of unemployed people on temporary layoff went from 13.4 percent in February 2020 to 78.3 percent in April 2020 before returning to pre-pandemic averages.

Percent distribution of reason for unemployment, July 2018–July 2023
Month New entrants Job leavers Reentrants Job losers, not on temporary layoff Job losers, on temporary layoff

Jul 2018

9.1 13.5 29.1 34.3 13.9

Aug 2018

9.4 14.5 30.1 32.1 13.9

Sep 2018

9.5 12.2 31.7 32.8 13.9

Oct 2018

9.6 11.8 31.6 33.1 13.8

Nov 2018

9.4 11.6 31.5 33.1 14.4

Dec 2018

9.7 13.1 31.1 33.9 12.2

Jan 2019

9.5 12.5 30.6 33.1 14.4

Feb 2019

10.0 13.5 30.6 33.2 12.7

Mar 2019

10.1 12.5 31.6 31.5 14.3

Apr 2019

9.9 12.1 32.4 33.6 12.0

May 2019

10.0 13.9 31.1 30.6 14.5

Jun 2019

8.2 15.1 30.2 32.2 14.3

Jul 2019

9.8 14.0 29.6 32.8 13.7

Aug 2019

9.4 13.3 29.8 33.7 13.7

Sep 2019

11.5 14.6 29.3 31.4 13.2

Oct 2019

10.2 14.1 29.0 32.9 13.7

Nov 2019

9.7 13.2 29.0 34.0 14.0

Dec 2019

9.8 14.2 28.4 33.5 14.0

Jan 2020

9.7 14.2 32.5 33.2 10.4

Feb 2020

8.8 13.2 31.6 33.0 13.4

Mar 2020

7.5 9.8 24.2 29.7 28.8

Apr 2020

1.8 2.4 6.4 11.1 78.3

May 2020

2.5 2.6 7.8 14.3 72.8

Jun 2020

3.3 3.2 12.9 20.3 60.4

Jul 2020

3.2 3.6 14.1 22.8 56.3

Aug 2020

4.1 4.6 15.3 30.3 45.7

Sep 2020

4.3 6.5 16.9 35.5 36.8

Oct 2020

4.7 6.9 18.2 41.2 29.1

Nov 2020

5.2 6.5 18.5 43.4 26.3

Dec 2020

4.7 7.0 20.6 39.3 28.4

Jan 2021

5.5 6.4 20.1 41.4 26.5

Feb 2021

5.9 7.0 21.6 43.0 22.4

Mar 2021

5.2 7.8 23.0 42.8 21.2

Apr 2021

5.9 8.4 21.7 42.9 21.2

May 2021

5.4 8.5 23.4 43.0 19.7

Jun 2021

5.3 10.0 23.9 41.6 19.2

Jul 2021

5.5 10.7 26.7 43.0 14.2

Aug 2021

6.4 10.0 29.6 39.2 14.7

Sep 2021

6.6 10.4 29.9 38.7 14.4

Oct 2021

7.3 11.7 30.0 36.8 14.2

Nov 2021

6.2 12.4 31.7 36.7 12.9

Dec 2021

8.0 11.4 31.9 36.1 12.6

Jan 2022

6.6 14.4 30.2 34.3 14.4

Feb 2022

6.7 15.1 30.9 33.4 13.8

Mar 2022

7.7 12.9 32.7 33.8 12.9

Apr 2022

8.6 13.2 30.9 33.1 14.2

May 2022

8.9 12.8 32.6 32.1 13.6

Jun 2022

7.9 14.1 33.5 30.5 14.1

Jul 2022

8.1 14.7 31.7 31.6 14.0

Aug 2022

7.7 15.3 31.2 32.3 13.5

Sep 2022

8.0 15.8 32.0 30.7 13.5

Oct 2022

8.3 14.5 31.6 31.1 14.4

Nov 2022

9.4 13.9 30.2 32.9 13.5

Dec 2022

8.7 14.4 30.9 31.7 14.2

Jan 2023

9.2 15.3 31.5 31.2 12.7

Feb 2023

8.6 14.8 30.8 32.2 13.6

Mar 2023

8.3 14.2 28.0 35.6 14.0

Apr 2023

9.3 13.8 30.8 33.8 12.4

May 2023

8.4 12.6 30.1 36.2 12.7

Jun 2023

9.3 13.2 29.1 34.3 14.0

Jul 2023

8.6 14.6 31.8 33.5 11.4

Those that lost their job and were not on a temporary layoff made up 33.5 percent of the unemployed in July 2023. People that left their job voluntarily accounted for 14.6 percent. More than 40 percent of the unemployed were reentering the workforce after an absence or were new entrants in search of their first job.

People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. There are four unemployment categories: job losers, job leavers, reentrants, and new entrants. Job losers consists of two groups, people on temporary layoff and not on temporary layoff. Job leavers include those who quit or voluntarily ended their jobs and immediately began searching for a new job. Reentrants previously worked but were out of the labor force before they began their job search.  New entrants are looking for their first job and have no previous work experience.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. For more information, see “The Employment Situation — July 2023.” We also have more charts on employment and unemployment.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 11.4 percent of unemployed in July 2023 were on temporary layoff at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/11-4-percent-of-unemployed-in-july-2023-were-on-temporary-layoff.htm (visited April 19, 2024).

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