Labor market trends for American Indians and Alaska Natives, 2000–17

November 08, 2018

The employment–population ratio for American Indians and Alaska Natives age 16 and older was 55.6 percent in 2017, down 4.0 percentage points from 2000. Their labor force participation rate, at 60.3 percent in 2017, was down from 64.5 percent in 2000. Among American Indians and Alaska Natives who participated in the labor force in 2017, 7.8 percent were unemployed.

Labor force status of the American Indian and Alaska Native population, 2000–17 annual averages
Year Labor force participation rate Employment–population ratio Unemployment rate

2000

64.5% 59.6% 7.5%

2001

65.2 59.4 8.8

2002

65.0 58.3 10.3

2003

64.4 57.7 10.5

2004

63.8 57.7 9.6

2005

63.5 57.6 9.3

2006

63.1 58.1 7.9

2007

63.3 58.1 8.1

2008

63.7 57.4 9.9

2009

59.0 51.2 13.3

2010

57.7 49.0 15.1

2011

59.2 50.5 14.6

2012

59.3 52.1 12.3

2013

59.2 51.6 12.8

2014

60.9 54.0 11.3

2015

60.6 54.6 9.9

2016

61.1 55.7 8.9

2017

60.3 55.6 7.8

From 2000 to 2017, the employment–population ratio for American Indians and Alaska Natives was highest in 2000, at 59.6 percent. It was lowest in 2010, when it was 49.0 percent.

The lowest unemployment rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives occurred in 2000, when it was 7.5 percent; it was highest in 2010 at 15.1 percent.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity, 2017." For more data about race and ethnicity, see our demographics page. The employment–population ratio is the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population that is employed. The labor force participation rate is the labor force (the employed plus the unemployed) as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population. The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force. Data for American Indians and Alaska Natives are not available before 2000.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor market trends for American Indians and Alaska Natives, 2000–17 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/labor-market-trends-for-american-indians-and-alaska-natives-2000-17.htm (visited November 17, 2018).

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