Unemployment rate down 1 percentage point over the year

March 11, 2014

There were 10.5 million unemployed persons in February 2014, and the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.6 million and 1.0 percentage point, respectively.

NOTE: Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown here will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series.

Selected measures of the unemployed, part-time workers, and persons not in the labor force, February 2013 and February 2014
MeasureFebruary 2013February 2014

Unemployed (seasonally adjusted)

12,047,00010,459,000

Unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted)

7.76.7

 

  

Reason for unemployment (seasonally adjusted)

  

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

6,495,0005,448,000

Job leavers

952,000823,000

Reentrants

3,330,0002,997,000

New entrants

1,276,0001,229,000

 

  

Duration of unemployment (seasonally adjusted)

  

Less than 5 weeks

2,677,0002,373,000

5 to 14 weeks

2,788,0002,568,000

15 to 26 weeks

1,735,0001,615,000

27 weeks and over

4,750,0003,849,000

 

  

Employed persons at work part time (seasonally adjusted)

  

Part time for economic reasons

7,991,0007,186,000

Slack work or business conditions

5,116,0004,251,000

Could only find part-time work

2,583,0002,692,000

Part time for noneconomic reasons

18,925,00019,027,000

 

  

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

  

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,588,0002,303,000

Discouraged workers

885,000755,000
NOTE: Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown here will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 203,000 in February to 3.8 million; these individuals accounted for 37.0 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed was down by 901,000 over the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was 7.2 million in February 2014, down from 8.0 million in February 2013. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

In February, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a decline of 285,000 over the year. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 755,000 discouraged workers in February, down by 130,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS) program and are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — February 2014," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-14-0354. More charts featuring CPS data can be found in Charting the labor market: Data from the Current Population Survey (PDF). 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate down 1 percentage point over the year on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140311.htm (visited October 23, 2014).

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