The US unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April 2020, the highest in the history of the series and compared to market expectations of 16 percent, as the Covid-19 crisis threw millions out of work. The number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million, while the number of employed declined by 22.4 million to 133.4 million. The labor force participation rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points over the month to 60.2 percent, the lowest rate since January 1973.

Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.74 percent from 1948 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 14.70 percent in April of 2020 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Unemployment Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on May of 2020. source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rate in the United States is expected to be 15.00 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in the United States to stand at 19.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 15.00 percent in 2021 and 12.90 percent in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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United States Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
14.70 4.40 14.70 2.50 1948 - 2020 percent Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-02-07 01:30 PM Jan 3.6% 3.5% 3.5% 3.6%
2020-03-06 01:30 PM Feb 3.5% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6%
2020-04-03 12:30 PM Mar 4.4% 3.5% 3.8% 4%
2020-05-08 12:30 PM Apr 14.7% 4.4% 16% 15.5%
2020-06-05 12:30 PM May 14.7% 19.7% 19.5%
2020-07-02 12:30 PM Jun 15%
2020-08-07 12:30 PM Jul
2020-09-04 12:30 PM Aug


News Stream
US Unemployment Rate Hits Record High
The US unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April 2020, the highest in the history of the series and compared to market expectations of 16 percent, as the Covid-19 crisis threw millions out of work. The number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million, while the number of employed declined by 22.4 million to 133.4 million. The labor force participation rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points over the month to 60.2 percent, the lowest rate since January 1973.
2020-05-08
US Jobless Rate Climbs to 2-1/2-Year High
The US unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent in March 2020, the highest since August 2017 and well above market expectations of 3.8 percent, as the Covid-19 crisis threw millions out of work. The number of unemployed increased by 1.35 million to 7.14 million, while the number of employed declined by 2.99 million to 155.77 million. The numbers are expected to get even worse in April as the government surveyed businesses and households for the report in mid-March, before majority of people was under some form of a lockdown.
2020-04-03
US Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls to 3.5%
The US unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in February of 2020 from 3.6 percent in the previous month while markets had expected it to be unchanged at 3.6 percent. The number of unemployed people decreased by 105 thousand to 5.79 million while employment rose by 45 thousand to 158.76 million. The unemployment rate has been either 3.5 percent or 3.6 percent for the past 6 months. Meantime, the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.4 percent.
2020-03-06
US Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Rises in January
The US unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent in January 2020 from the previous month's 50-year low and above market expectations of 3.5 percent. The number of unemployed people increased by 139 thousand to 5.89 million while employment fell by 89 thousand to 158.71 million. The labor force participation rate rose 0.2 p.p. to 63.4 percent.
2020-02-07

United States Unemployment Rate
In the United States, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.