According to the US Census Bureau (USCB) there were 11,757,900 people or just over 9% of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 who were unemployed in 2010 in the US. Some states fared better, some worse.
The Census Bureau conducts a national census every ten years where they count every person. Additionally they have an ongoing survey, the America Community Survey (ACS), which is released annually with the new updated figures. One of the vital sections of this questionnaire deals with unemployment. These numbers are used to set policy for the years to come.
The USCB will break unemployment down by gender, age, race, family type, presence of children under 18, number of workers in the family.
Often when we talk about unemployment we are only looking at half of the picture – the other critical variable to analyze is “not in the labor force”. For some who are not in the labor force it is by choice – they are caring for small children or aging parents and the family made an economic decision that they would opt to not have one parent work to provide service to the family at large. But another segment of the “not in the labor force” are those who have given up looking for a job or are considered unemployable and thus are no longer counted as “unemployed” in the national numbers.
Depending upon what story you want to tell you can choose to use either of two denominators: the total population of 25-64 year olds or only those who are in the labor force (meaning those who are working, are actively looking for work (unemployed) and those in the armed forces.
The difference in employment rates is pretty consistent across the 50 states. The five highest (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, and Nebraska) are all in the mid-90’s, whereas the five lowest (Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, and South Carolina) are all in the high-80’s.
Percent of Labor Force aged 25-64 Employed
|District of Columbia||88.8%|
Unemployment does not hit all segments of our society equally. For example, those with a college or advanced degree were nearly twice as likely to be employed as those without a high school diploma.
In the 2006-2010 ACS the Census Bureau released data in the following tables dealing with Unemployment/Employment statistics:
B23001 - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over
C23002A - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (White alone)
C23002B - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Black alone)
C23002C - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Native American alone)
C23002D - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Asian alone)
C23002E - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Pacific Islander alone)
C23002F - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Some other race alone)
C23002G - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (2 or more races alone)
C23002H - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (White alone, not Hispanic)
C23002I - Sex by age by employment status for the population 16 years and over (Hispanic)
B23003 - Presence of own children under 18 years by age of own children under 18 years by employment status for females aged 20 to 64 years
B23004 - Work status in the past 12 months by age by employment status for the civilian population 65 years and over
B23006 - Educational attainment by employment status for the population 25 to 64 years
B23007 - Presence of own children under 18 years by family type by employment status
B23008 - Age of own children under 18 years in families and subfamilies by living arrangements by employment status of parents
B23009 - Presence of own children under 18 years by family type by number of workers in family in the past 12 months
B23010 - Presence of own children under 18 years in married-couple families by work experience of householder and spouse
B23013 - Median age by sex for workers 16 to 64 years
B23018 - Aggregate usual hours worked in the past 12 months by sex for workers 16 to 64 years
B23020 - Mean usual hours worked in the past 12 months for workers 16 to 64 years
B23022 - Sex by work status in the past 12 months by usual hours worked per week in the past 12 months by weeks worked in the past 12 months for the population 16 to 64 years
There are also tables about occupation and industry for employed workers as well as class of worker. These are broken out by gender, race and income.
For more information about unemployment or other demographic variables in your area or across the nation please contact us at 800-577-6717 and we would be happy to run a custom report for you or sell you a copy of the American Community Survey or 2010 Census so that you can run your own reports about unemployment and hundreds of other topics (poverty, educational attainment, language spoken, income etc.) For questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org