US Unemployment Rate Down to Nearly 7-Year Low

The jobless rate decreased to 5.5 percent in February from 5.7 percent in the previous month. It is the lowest figure since May of 2008 as the number of unemployed persons went down.

There were 8.7 million unemployed people in February, down from 8.97 million in the previous month. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers decreased by 1.7 percentage points to 17.1 percent in February. The jobless rates for adult men (5.2 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.4 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little or no change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.7 million in February. These individuals accounted for 31.1 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.1 million. 

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in February and has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent since April 2014. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.3 percent in February but is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic was little changed in February at 6.6 million. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In February, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. Among the marginally attached, there were 732,000 discouraged workers in February, little different 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 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

US Unemployment Rate Down to Nearly 7-Year Low

BLS | Joana Taborda |
3/6/2015 1:42:01 PM