Charting the U.S. Labor Market in 2006

This report, Charting the U.S. Labor Market in 2006, includes graphs and text describing the U.S. labor market in 2006. Highlights include information about educational attainment, race and Hispanic ethnicity, women, and families.

These data were compiled from several statistical programs of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are presented together to give an overview of the employment and unemployment situation for the nation that presents both recent data and historical trends over time.

The chartbook is divided into sections by topic: Major Indicators, Education, Employment Relationships, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity, Women, and Families. Each chart can be downloaded individually. Note that this chartbook is presented on this website in Adobe PDF format.

The report is also available in a single PDF file: Charting the U.S. Labor Market in 2006 (400 KB, 70 printed pages)


  • Title page (PDF)
  • Overview and table of contents (PDF)


  • Chart 1-1. More than half of the population 16 years and over works full time (PDF)
  • Chart 1-2. The unemployment rate is down from its most recent peak in June 2003 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-3. In 2006, unemployment rates were lowest in the Mountain States and highest in the East North Central States (PDF)
  • Chart 1-4. From the onset of the recession to the end of 2006, labor force participation rates were down, except among older workers (PDF)
  • Chart 1-5. The percentage of the population that is employed has trended up since September 2003 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-6. By the end of 2006, nonfarm payroll employment had risen by 7.3 million since its recent low in August 2003 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-7. Private payroll employment has increased since August 2003 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-8. Employment rose in most industries from August 2003 to December 2006 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-9. Manufacturing employment has edged down since 2004, following 3 years of sharp declines (PDF)
  • Chart 1-10. Total nonfarm employment continued to rise across most of the Nation in 2006 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-11. The job openings rate generally has moved in the opposite direction of the unemployment rate (PDF)
  • Chart 1-12. Since early 2003, the number of hires generally has exceeded separations (PDF)
  • Chart 1-13. The number of mass layoff events spiked in September 2005 after the Gulf Coast hurricanes (PDF)
  • Chart 1-14. In 2006, nearly forty percent of workers separated from their jobs due to the relocation of work were separated due to out-of-country relocations (PDF)
  • Chart 1-15. Consumer prices usually increase more slowly than private employers' compensation costs (PDF)
  • Chart 1-16. Increases in employer costs for wages and salaries matched gains in benefit costs in 2006 (PDF)
  • Chart 1-17. Labor productivity began to accelerate in the mid-1990s, led by gains in manufacturing (PDF)
  • Chart 1-18. Six of the 10 industries projected to grow the fastest are health related and one is computer related (PDF)
  • Chart 1-19. Seven of the 10 occupations projected to grow the fastest are health related and three are computer related (PDF)


  • Chart 2-1. The educational attainment of the labor force has improved over time (PDF)
  • Chart 2-2. The higher the education level, the lower the unemployment rate (PDF)
  • Chart 2-3. Regardless of race or Hispanic ethnicity, unemployment rates generally decline with higher levels of education (PDF)
  • Chart 2-4. Education pays (PDF)
  • Chart 2-5. Education pays for everyone, regardless of race or Hispanic ethnicity (PDF)
  • Chart 2-6. Real median weekly earnings for college graduates have trended up over time (PDF)


  • Chart 3-1. Fewer than 2 in 10 employed persons work part time; fewer than 1 in 10 workers is self-employed (PDF)
  • Chart 3-2. About 1 in 20 workers has more than one job (PDF)
  • Chart 3-3. About 2 percent of nonfarm jobs are in temporary help services (PDF)
  • Chart 3-4. In 2005, about 1 in 25 workers could be described as "contingent," believing that they could not work at their job indefinitely (PDF)
  • Chart 3-5. In 2005, about 10 percent of employed persons worked in alternative employment arrangements, mostly as independent contractors (PDF)
  • Chart 3-6. Displacement rates rise during recessions (PDF)
  • Chart 3-7. Production, transportation, and material moving workers were most likely to be displaced in 2003-2004 (PDF)
  • Chart 3-8. About one-third of workers displaced from full-time jobs in 2003-2004 found full-time jobs that paid at least what they made on their old jobs (PDF)
  • Chart 3-9. Declining proportions of men have worked for their current employer for 10 years or longer (PDF)
  • Chart 3-10. Rising proportions of women ages 40 to 54 have worked for their current employer for 10 years or longer (PDF)
  • Chart 3-11. Union membership has declined over time (PDF)


  • Chart 4-1. Selected labor force characteristics of blacks or African Americans (PDF)
  • Chart 4-2. Selected labor force characteristics of Hispanics or Latinos (PDF)
  • Chart 4-3. Selected labor force characteristics of Asians (PDF)
  • Chart 4-4. Blacks are less likely to participate in the labor force than whites, Asians, or Hispanics (PDF)
  • Chart 4-5. Unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics have remained consistently higher than the rate for whites (PDF)
  • Chart 4-6. Blacks and Hispanics are less likely than are whites and Asians to be employed in management and professional occupations (PDF)
  • Chart 4-7. Earnings of blacks and Hispanics are lower than those of Asians and whites (PDF)


  • Chart 5-1. After rising for several decades, the labor force participation rate for women has shown no growth in recent years (PDF)
  • Chart 5-2. Women's labor force participation patterns are now more like those of men (PDF)
  • Chart 5-3. Unemployment rates for adult men and women have stayed quite close since the early 1980s (PDF)
  • Chart 5-4. The employment-population ratios for adult men and women have edged up since mid-2003 (PDF)
  • Chart 5-5. Women continue to be more likely than men to work part time (PDF)
  • Chart 5-6. Year-round, full-time work has trended up (PDF)
  • Chart 5-7. Women are concentrated in management, professional, sales, and office occupations (PDF)
  • Chart 5-8. Women's earnings have increased substantially as a percent of men's (PDF)
  • Chart 5-9. The change in real earnings since 1979 has been more favorable for women than for men at all levels of education (PDF)
  • Chart 5-10. The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has increased for most major age groups (PDF)


  • Chart 6-1. The proportion of all families maintained by men or by women with no spouse present has grown substantially (PDF)
  • Chart 6-2. Most families have an employed member (PDF)
  • Chart 6-3. Labor force participation rates have increased dramatically among mothers over the past 31 years (PDF)
  • Chart 6-4. Black mothers have the highest labor force participation rates (PDF)
  • Chart 6-5. In 2005, working wives contributed a little more than a third of their families’ income (PDF)
  • Chart 6-6. Nine out of 10 children live with an employed parent (PDF)
  • Chart 6-7. Families allocated about one-third of their total spending to housing and about one-fifth to transportation in 2005 (PDF)
  • Chart 6-8. Single-parent families allocated more of their expenditure dollar to basic items—food and housing—than did married-couple families in 2005 (PDF)
  • Chart 6-9. On weekdays that they worked, employed persons with children spent two-thirds of an average day working and sleeping (PDF)


Last Modified Date: September 28, 2007