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5.6 percent of people not in labor force wanted a job in August 2022

September 08, 2022

In August 2022, 99.4 million people in the United States were counted as not in the labor force, meaning they were neither employed nor unemployed. Of this number, 5.5 million, or 5.6 percent, wanted a job. These people were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. This measure remained above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million, or 5.3 percent, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Percentage of people not in the labor force who currently want a job, January 2000–August 2022, seasonally adjusted
Month Percent who currently
want a job
Persons not in the labor force
who currently want a job
Persons not
in the labor force

Jan 2000

6.2% 4,302,000 69,142,000

Feb 2000

6.4 4,458,000 69,120,000

Mar 2000

6.8 4,689,000 69,338,000

Apr 2000

6.4 4,428,000 69,267,000

May 2000

6.3 4,385,000 69,853,000

Jun 2000

6.2 4,313,000 69,876,000

Jul 2000

6.3 4,430,000 70,398,000

Aug 2000

6.1 4,290,000 70,401,000

Sep 2000

6.2 4,389,000 70,645,000

Oct 2000

6.2 4,393,000 70,782,000

Nov 2000

6.1 4,332,000 70,579,000

Dec 2000

6.5 4,551,000 70,488,000

Jan 2001

6.3 4,401,000 70,088,000

Feb 2001

6.5 4,571,000 70,409,000

Mar 2001

6.1 4,297,000 70,381,000

Apr 2001

6.4 4,509,000 70,956,000

May 2001

6.3 4,516,000 71,414,000

Jun 2001

6.5 4,637,000 71,592,000

Jul 2001

6.3 4,489,000 71,526,000

Aug 2001

6.8 4,900,000 72,136,000

Sep 2001

6.4 4,577,000 71,676,000

Oct 2001

6.5 4,691,000 71,817,000

Nov 2001

6.6 4,751,000 71,876,000

Dec 2001

6.6 4,737,000 72,010,000

Jan 2002

6.6 4,803,000 72,623,000

Feb 2002

6.3 4,559,000 72,010,000

Mar 2002

6.4 4,598,000 72,343,000

Apr 2002

6.4 4,609,000 72,281,000

May 2002

6.7 4,825,000 72,260,000

Jun 2002

6.6 4,766,000 72,600,000

Jul 2002

6.7 4,847,000 72,827,000

Aug 2002

6.4 4,627,000 72,856,000

Sep 2002

6.5 4,687,000 72,554,000

Oct 2002

6.1 4,429,000 73,026,000

Nov 2002

6.4 4,733,000 73,508,000

Dec 2002

6.2 4,567,000 73,675,000

Jan 2003

6.3 4,632,000 73,960,000

Feb 2003

6.2 4,600,000 74,015,000

Mar 2003

6.6 4,916,000 74,295,000

Apr 2003

6.0 4,451,000 74,066,000

May 2003

6.5 4,810,000 74,268,000

Jun 2003

6.4 4,740,000 73,958,000

Jul 2003

6.5 4,855,000 74,767,000

Aug 2003

6.4 4,830,000 75,062,000

Sep 2003

6.4 4,832,000 75,249,000

Oct 2003

6.3 4,760,000 75,324,000

Nov 2003

6.0 4,534,000 75,280,000

Dec 2003

6.2 4,695,000 75,780,000

Jan 2004

6.3 4,769,000 75,319,000

Feb 2004

6.3 4,750,000 75,648,000

Mar 2004

6.4 4,816,000 75,606,000

Apr 2004

6.2 4,690,000 75,907,000

May 2004

6.2 4,741,000 75,903,000

Jun 2004

6.1 4,648,000 75,735,000

Jul 2004

6.2 4,661,000 75,730,000

Aug 2004

6.5 4,933,000 76,113,000

Sep 2004

6.4 4,930,000 76,526,000

Oct 2004

6.9 5,277,000 76,399,000

Nov 2004

6.7 5,113,000 76,259,000

Dec 2004

6.5 4,949,000 76,581,000

Jan 2005

6.5 4,992,000 76,808,000

Feb 2005

6.5 4,968,000 76,677,000

Mar 2005

6.5 5,018,000 76,846,000

Apr 2005

6.7 5,114,000 76,514,000

May 2005

6.2 4,771,000 76,409,000

Jun 2005

6.8 5,222,000 76,673,000

Jul 2005

6.4 4,947,000 76,721,000

Aug 2005

6.3 4,813,000 76,642,000

Sep 2005

6.5 4,990,000 76,739,000

Oct 2005

6.5 4,993,000 76,958,000

Nov 2005

6.2 4,818,000 77,138,000

Dec 2005

6.7 5,183,000 77,394,000

Jan 2006

6.4 4,964,000 77,339,000

Feb 2006

6.4 4,901,000 77,122,000

Mar 2006

6.4 4,918,000 77,161,000

Apr 2006

6.1 4,719,000 77,318,000

May 2006

6.0 4,635,000 77,359,000

Jun 2006

6.1 4,726,000 77,317,000

Jul 2006

6.3 4,862,000 77,535,000

Aug 2006

6.4 4,951,000 77,451,000

Sep 2006

6.0 4,666,000 77,757,000

Oct 2006

6.3 4,868,000 77,634,000

Nov 2006

6.2 4,818,000 77,499,000

Dec 2006

5.7 4,390,000 77,376,000

Jan 2007

5.8 4,506,000 77,506,000

Feb 2007

6.0 4,706,000 77,851,000

Mar 2007

5.9 4,565,000 77,982,000

Apr 2007

6.1 4,794,000 78,818,000

May 2007

6.3 4,968,000 78,810,000

Jun 2007

6.2 4,857,000 78,671,000

Jul 2007

6.0 4,737,000 78,904,000

Aug 2007

6.1 4,827,000 79,461,000

Sep 2007

6.0 4,750,000 79,047,000

Oct 2007

5.5 4,352,000 79,532,000

Nov 2007

5.9 4,648,000 79,105,000

Dec 2007

5.9 4,657,000 79,238,000

Jan 2008

6.2 4,846,000 78,554,000

Feb 2008

6.0 4,739,000 79,156,000

Mar 2008

6.0 4,718,000 79,087,000

Apr 2008

6.0 4,733,000 79,429,000

May 2008

6.1 4,851,000 79,102,000

Jun 2008

6.2 4,929,000 79,314,000

Jul 2008

6.3 5,023,000 79,395,000

Aug 2008

6.2 4,922,000 79,466,000

Sep 2008

6.5 5,153,000 79,790,000

Oct 2008

6.4 5,094,000 79,736,000

Nov 2008

6.8 5,421,000 80,189,000

Dec 2008

6.8 5,431,000 80,380,000

Jan 2009

7.1 5,708,000 80,529,000

Feb 2009

7.0 5,617,000 80,374,000

Mar 2009

7.2 5,807,000 80,953,000

Apr 2009

7.3 5,927,000 80,762,000

May 2009

7.4 5,986,000 80,705,000

Jun 2009

7.3 5,908,000 80,938,000

Jul 2009

7.4 6,003,000 81,367,000

Aug 2009

6.9 5,649,000 81,780,000

Sep 2009

7.2 5,949,000 82,495,000

Oct 2009

7.3 6,002,000 82,766,000

Nov 2009

7.2 5,998,000 82,865,000

Dec 2009

7.4 6,186,000 83,813,000

Jan 2010

7.1 5,942,000 83,349,000

Feb 2010

7.3 6,098,000 83,304,000

Mar 2010

7.2 5,993,000 83,206,000

Apr 2010

7.1 5,913,000 82,707,000

May 2010

7.0 5,824,000 83,409,000

Jun 2010

7.0 5,909,000 84,075,000

Jul 2010

7.0 5,895,000 84,199,000

Aug 2010

7.2 6,037,000 84,014,000

Sep 2010

7.4 6,270,000 84,347,000

Oct 2010

7.4 6,289,000 84,895,000

Nov 2010

7.3 6,182,000 84,590,000

Dec 2010

7.5 6,431,000 85,240,000

Jan 2011

7.6 6,472,000 85,441,000

Feb 2011

7.5 6,390,000 85,637,000

Mar 2011

7.6 6,527,000 85,623,000

Apr 2011

7.6 6,537,000 85,603,000

May 2011

7.3 6,289,000 85,834,000

Jun 2011

7.6 6,519,000 86,144,000

Jul 2011

7.5 6,513,000 86,383,000

Aug 2011

7.5 6,463,000 86,111,000

Sep 2011

7.3 6,262,000 85,940,000

Oct 2011

7.4 6,384,000 86,308,000

Nov 2011

7.6 6,538,000 86,312,000

Dec 2011

7.3 6,323,000 86,589,000

Jan 2012

7.2 6,343,000 87,888,000

Feb 2012

7.2 6,335,000 87,765,000

Mar 2012

7.2 6,302,000 87,855,000

Apr 2012

7.3 6,426,000 88,239,000

May 2012

7.2 6,309,000 88,100,000

Jun 2012

7.5 6,564,000 88,073,000

Jul 2012

7.4 6,516,000 88,405,000

Aug 2012

7.9 7,011,000 88,803,000

Sep 2012

7.7 6,817,000 88,613,000

Oct 2012

7.4 6,551,000 88,429,000

Nov 2012

7.7 6,833,000 88,836,000

Dec 2012

7.6 6,728,000 88,722,000

Jan 2013

7.5 6,637,000 88,900,000

Feb 2013

7.6 6,772,000 89,516,000

Mar 2013

7.4 6,670,000 89,990,000

Apr 2013

7.2 6,428,000 89,780,000

May 2013

7.5 6,726,000 89,827,000

Jun 2013

7.4 6,614,000 89,803,000

Jul 2013

7.2 6,526,000 90,156,000

Aug 2013

7.0 6,284,000 90,355,000

Sep 2013

6.8 6,119,000 90,481,000

Oct 2013

6.6 6,024,000 91,708,000

Nov 2013

6.3 5,754,000 91,302,000

Dec 2013

6.7 6,126,000 91,563,000

Jan 2014

6.9 6,360,000 91,563,000

Feb 2014

6.6 6,011,000 91,603,000

Mar 2014

6.8 6,174,000 91,230,000

Apr 2014

6.7 6,207,000 92,070,000

May 2014

7.1 6,553,000 91,938,000

Jun 2014

6.7 6,207,000 92,107,000

Jul 2014

6.8 6,264,000 92,016,000

Aug 2014

6.9 6,376,000 92,099,000

Sep 2014

6.8 6,326,000 92,406,000

Oct 2014

7.0 6,431,000 92,240,000

Nov 2014

7.1 6,558,000 92,350,000

Dec 2014

6.9 6,406,000 92,695,000

Jan 2015

6.8 6,300,000 92,694,000

Feb 2015

7.0 6,503,000 93,256,000

Mar 2015

6.8 6,355,000 93,437,000

Apr 2015

6.7 6,221,000 93,205,000

May 2015

6.5 6,051,000 92,804,000

Jun 2015

6.5 6,130,000 93,601,000

Jul 2015

6.5 6,097,000 93,880,000

Aug 2015

6.3 5,890,000 93,924,000

Sep 2015

6.2 5,868,000 94,592,000

Oct 2015

6.4 5,997,000 94,374,000

Nov 2015

6.0 5,649,000 94,284,000

Dec 2015

6.3 5,909,000 93,901,000

Jan 2016

6.4 6,006,000 94,117,000

Feb 2016

6.3 5,927,000 93,937,000

Mar 2016

6.1 5,730,000 93,589,000

Apr 2016

6.2 5,812,000 93,828,000

May 2016

6.3 5,962,000 94,390,000

Jun 2016

5.9 5,590,000 94,430,000

Jul 2016

6.3 5,906,000 94,426,000

Aug 2016

6.1 5,752,000 94,292,000

Sep 2016

6.4 6,017,000 94,377,000

Oct 2016

6.3 5,948,000 94,716,000

Nov 2016

6.2 5,864,000 95,034,000

Dec 2016

6.0 5,668,000 95,064,000

Jan 2017

6.1 5,758,000 94,462,000

Feb 2017

6.0 5,653,000 94,386,000

Mar 2017

6.1 5,758,000 94,277,000

Apr 2017

6.1 5,708,000 94,243,000

May 2017

5.8 5,465,000 94,699,000

Jun 2017

5.6 5,277,000 94,766,000

Jul 2017

5.7 5,425,000 94,689,000

Aug 2017

6.1 5,734,000 94,771,000

Sep 2017

6.0 5,637,000 94,423,000

Oct 2017

5.5 5,293,000 95,457,000

Nov 2017

5.5 5,219,000 95,370,000

Dec 2017

5.5 5,275,000 95,574,000

Jan 2018

5.4 5,191,000 95,782,000

Feb 2018

5.4 5,169,000 95,088,000

Mar 2018

5.3 5,044,000 95,338,000

Apr 2018

5.4 5,163,000 95,462,000

May 2018

5.4 5,188,000 95,571,000

Jun 2018

5.5 5,204,000 95,462,000

Jul 2018

5.4 5,195,000 95,554,000

Aug 2018

5.6 5,413,000 96,387,000

Sep 2018

5.5 5,288,000 96,255,000

Oct 2018

5.6 5,408,000 95,990,000

Nov 2018

5.6 5,398,000 95,969,000

Dec 2018

5.6 5,320,000 95,742,000

Jan 2019

5.5 5,262,000 95,168,000

Feb 2019

5.5 5,216,000 95,278,000

Mar 2019

5.4 5,136,000 95,502,000

Apr 2019

5.3 5,107,000 96,051,000

May 2019

5.2 4,994,000 96,058,000

Jun 2019

5.5 5,272,000 96,008,000

Jul 2019

5.2 4,999,000 95,753,000

Aug 2019

5.4 5,212,000 95,658,000

Sep 2019

5.1 4,852,000 95,623,000

Oct 2019

5.0 4,778,000 95,509,000

Nov 2019

5.1 4,849,000 95,586,000

Dec 2019

5.1 4,839,000 95,549,000

Jan 2020

5.2 4,937,000 95,023,000

Feb 2020

5.3 4,996,000 95,045,000

Mar 2020

5.6 5,462,000 96,994,000

Apr 2020

9.6 9,921,000 103,538,000

May 2020

8.7 8,916,000 101,925,000

Jun 2020

8.2 8,182,000 100,370,000

Jul 2020

7.7 7,712,000 100,358,000

Aug 2020

7.1 7,070,000 99,851,000

Sep 2020

7.2 7,194,000 100,590,000

Oct 2020

6.7 6,685,000 100,091,000

Nov 2020

7.1 7,120,000 100,546,000

Dec 2020

7.2 7,277,000 100,559,000

Jan 2021

6.9 6,956,000 100,667,000

Feb 2021

6.9 6,923,000 100,560,000

Mar 2021

6.8 6,822,000 100,372,000

Apr 2021

6.6 6,628,000 100,125,000

May 2021

6.6 6,583,000 100,409,000

Jun 2021

6.4 6,422,000 100,224,000

Jul 2021

6.5 6,529,000 100,094,000

Aug 2021

5.7 5,701,000 100,106,000

Sep 2021

5.9 5,918,000 100,294,000

Oct 2021

5.9 5,935,000 100,298,000

Nov 2021

5.8 5,819,000 99,902,000

Dec 2021

5.7 5,713,000 99,842,000

Jan 2022

5.7 5,704,000 99,516,000

Feb 2022

5.4 5,355,000 99,333,000

Mar 2022

5.8 5,737,000 99,035,000

Apr 2022

5.9 5,859,000 99,513,000

May 2022

5.7 5,681,000 99,302,000

Jun 2022

5.7 5,656,000 99,812,000

Jul 2022

5.9 5,910,000 100,051,000

Aug 2022

5.6 5,549,000 99,438,000

In April 2020, at the end of the February–April 2020 recession, 9.6 percent of people not in the labor force wanted a job, the highest percentage during the 2000–22 period. The percentage of people not in the labor force who wanted a job had been 5.0 percent in October 2019, its lowest percentage over the past 22 years.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. See "The Employment Situation — August 2022" to learn more. Also see charts of Employment Situation data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 5.6 percent of people not in labor force wanted a job in August 2022 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/5-6-percent-of-people-not-in-labor-force-wanted-a-job-in-august-2022.htm (visited January 27, 2023).

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