Calculate the labor pressure portion and also the joblessness rateExplain surprise unemployment and also what it means to be in or out of the labor forceEvaluate the collection and also interpretation of unemployment data

Unemployment is commonly defined in newspaper or television reports as a portion or a price. A current report can have said, for example, from August 2009 to November 2009, the UNITED STATE joblessness price climbed from 9.7% to 10.0%, however by June 2010, it had actually fallen to 9.5%. At a glance, the changes between the percenteras might seem small. But remember that the U.S. economic situation has actually about 155 million adults that either have actually work or are searching for them. A increase or fevery one of simply 0.1% in the unemployment rate of 155 million potential employees translates right into 155,000 human being, which is approximately the total population of a city like Syracuse, New York, Brownsville, Texas, or Pasadena, California. Large rises in the unemployment rate intend large numbers of task losses. In November 2009, at the peak of the recession, about 15 million civilization were out of job-related. Even via the unemployment rate now at 5.5% as of February 2015, about 8 million world complete are out of work.

You are watching: Which of the following statements about the composition of the labor force is correct?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks and also reports all data concerned joblessness.


Who’s In or Out of the Labor Force?

Should everyone without a task be counted as unemployed? Of course not. Children, for instance, have to not be counted as unemployed. Surely, the reexhausted must not be counted as unemployed. Many type of full-time college students have just a part-time project, or no project at all, however it seems inproper to count them as suffering the pains of joblessness. Some human being are not working because they are rearing youngsters, ill, on vacation, or on parental leave.

The point is that the adult populace is not simply split into employed and also unemployed. A 3rd team exists: human being who perform not have actually a task, and also for some reason—retirement, looking after children, taking a voluntary break prior to a new job—are not interested in having actually a task, either. It likewise has those who execute want a job yet have actually quit looking, frequently because of being discouraged by their incapability to find suitable employment. Economists refer to this third group of those who are not functioning and not looking for work as out of the labor force or not in the labor pressure.

The U.S. joblessness price, which is based upon a monthly survey lugged out by the UNITED STATE Bureau of the Census, asks a series of questions to divide up the adult population into employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force. To be classified as unemployed, a perchild need to be without a task, presently available to work, and also actively trying to find work-related in the previous 4 weeks. Thus, a perkid that does not have actually a project however that is not currently available to work-related or has actually not actively tried to find job-related in the last 4 weeks is counted as out of the labor force.

Employed: currently functioning for pay

Unemployed: Out of job-related and also actively looking for a job

Out of the labor force: Out of phelp job-related and not proactively trying to find a job

Labor force: the variety of employed plus the unemployed

Calculating the Unemployment Rate

Figure 1 reflects the three-method division of the over-16 adult population. In February 2015, about 62.8% of the adult populace was “in the labor force”; that is, human being are either employed or without a project however trying to find work. Those in the labor pressure deserve to be separated right into the employed and also the unemployed. These values are additionally displayed in Table 1. The unemployment rate is not the portion of the complete adult populace without tasks, but quite the percentage of adults who are in the labor force but that execute not have actually jobs:

Figure 1. Employed, Unemployed, and Out of the Labor Force Distribution of Adult Population (age 16 and older), February 2015. The total adult, working-age population in February 2015 was 249.9 million. Out of this complete population, 148.3 were classified as employed, and also 8.7 million were classified as unemployed. The remaining 92.9 were classified as out of the labor pressure. As you will certainly learn, but, this seemingly easy chart does not tell the entirety story.
Total adult population over the age of 16249.9 million
In the labor force157 million (62.8%)
Employed148.3 million
Unemployed8.7 million
Out of the labor force92.9 million (37.2%)
Table 1. UNITED STATE Employment and also Unemployment, February 2015. (Source:

In this instance, the unemployment rate have the right to be calculated as 8.7 million unemployed civilization divided by 157 million human being in the labor force, which works out to a 5.5% price of unemployment. The following Work It Out feature will certainly walk you through the procedures of this calculation.

Calculating Labor Force Percentages

So exactly how do economic experts arrive at the percentages in and also out of the labor pressure and also the joblessness rate? We will certainly use the worths in Table 1 to show the actions.

To determine the portion in the labor force:

Tip 1. Divide the number of world in the labor force (157 million) by the full adult (working-age) population (249.9 million).

Tip 2. Multiply by 100 to obtain the percent.

= l}Percentage;in;the;labor;pressure & frac157249.9 \<1em> & 0.6282 \<1em> & 62.8\% endarray

To identify the percentage out of the labor force:

Step 1. Divide the variety of people out the labor pressure (92.9 million) by the total adult (working-age) population (249.9 million).

Tip 2. Multiply by 100 to achieve the percent.

= l}Percentage;in;the;labor;pressure & frac92.9249.9 \<1em> & 0.3717 \<1em> & 37.2\% endarray

To determine the unemployment rate:

Step 1. Divide the variety of unemployed people (8.7 million) by the complete labor pressure (157 million).

Step 2. Multiply by 100 to achieve the price.

Hidden Unemployment

Even via the “out of the labor force” category, tbelow are still some people that are mislabeled in the categorization of employed, unemployed, or out of the labor force. There are some civilization that have actually only part time or short-lived work and who are trying to find full-time and also long-term employment that are counted as employed, though they are not employed in the method they would certainly prefer or have to be. Additionally, tbelow are individuals who are underemployed. This includes those that are trained or professional for one form or level of work-related that are working in a reduced paying task or one that does not use their skills. For instance, an individual via a college level in finance that is functioning as a sales clerk would certainly be considered underemployed. They are, yet, additionally counted in the employed team. All of these individuals fall under the umbrella of the term “concealed unemployment.” Discouraged workers, those that have stopped in search of employment and also, for this reason, are no longer counted in the unemployed likewise autumn into this group

Labor Force Participation Rate

Another crucial statistic is the labor force participation rate. This is the portion of adults in an economic situation who are either employed or who are unemployed and also looking for a project. So, using the information in Figure 1 and Table 1, those contained in this calculation would certainly be the 157 million individuals in the labor force. The rate is calculated by taking the variety of civilization in the labor pressure, that is, the number employed and the number unemployed, divided by the complete adult populace and also multiplying by 100 to obtain the percentage. For the data from February 2015, the labor pressure participation price is 62.8%. Historically, the civilian labor pressure participation price in the USA climbed beginning in the 1960s as women progressively gotten in the workpressure, and also it peaked at roughly 68% in late 1999 to at an early stage 2000. Since then, the labor pressure participation rate has actually steadily decreased.

The Establishment Payroll Survey

When the joblessness report comes out each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) additionally reports on the number of tasks created—which comes from the facility payroll survey. The payroll survey is based upon a survey of about 140,000 businesses and federal government agencies throughout the USA. It generates payroll employment approximates by the following criteria: all employees, average weekly hours worked, and also average hourly, weekly, and overtime income. One of the objections of this survey is that it does not count the self-employed. It additionally does not make a difference between brand-new, minimum wage, part time or momentary tasks and permanent work through “decent” pay.

How Is the U.S. Unemployment Data Collected?

The unemployment price announced by the UNITED STATE Bureau of Labor Statistics each month is based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), which has actually been lugged out every month given that 1940. Great care is taken to make this survey representative of the country as a whole. The nation is initially split into 3,137 areas. The UNITED STATE Bureau of the Census then selects 729 of these areas to survey. The 729 locations are then separated into districts of about 300 families each, and also each district is split right into clusters of around 4 dwelling units. Eextremely month, Census Bureau employees call around 15,000 of the four-family clusters, for a full of 60,000 households. Households are interregarded for 4 consecutive months, then rotated out of the survey for eight months, and then interviewed aobtain for the exact same 4 months the adhering to year, before leaving the sample permanently.

Based on this survey, joblessness prices are calculated by state, market, city and also rural areas, sex, age, race or ethnicity, and level of education and learning. A wide array of other indevelopment is available, as well. For instance, how long have actually civilization been unemployed? Did they become unemployed bereason they quit, or were lassist off, or their employer went out of business? Is the unemployed perkid the just wage earner in the family? The Current Population Survey is a treasure trove of information around employment and joblessness. If you are wondering what the difference is in between the CPS and also EPS, read the complying with Clear it Up attribute.

What is the difference between CPS and also EPS?

The Current Population Survey (CPS) performed by the USA Census Bureau actions the percent of the labor force that is unemployed. The facility payroll survey (EPS) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a payroll survey that actions the net change in work developed for the month.

Criticisms of Measuring Unemployment

Tbelow are always complications in measuring the variety of unemployed. For instance, what around people that execute not have actually work and would certainly be obtainable to occupational, yet have gained discouraged at the absence of accessible jobs in their area and quit looking? Such civilization, and their families, might be experiencing the pains of joblessness. But the survey counts them as out of the labor pressure because they are not proactively looking for work. Other human being might tell the Census Bureau that they are prepared to work and looking for a job however, truly, they are not that eager to job-related and are not looking incredibly hard at all. They are counted as unemployed, although they could more accurately be classified as out of the labor force. Still various other world may have a job, perhaps doing somepoint prefer yard work, child care, or cleaning residences, yet are not reporting the revenue earned to the taxation authorities. They might report being unemployed, once they actually are working.

Although the joblessness rate gets most of the public and also media attention, economic researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics publish a broad range of surveys and reports that attempt to meacertain these kinds of issues and to develop a much more nuanced and finish watch of the labor sector. It is not precisely a warm news flash that financial statistics are imperfect. Even imperfect steps like the joblessness price, but, deserve to still be fairly informative, as soon as interpreted knowledgeably and sensibly.

Click below to learn more about the CPS to review frequently asked inquiries around employment and labor.


Key Concepts and also Summary

Unemployment imposes high costs. Unemployed individuals experience from loss of revenue and from stress. An economic climate via high unemployment suffers an opportunity cost of unsupplied sources. The adult populace deserve to be split right into those in the labor force and those out of the labor pressure. In turn, those in the labor pressure are split into employed and unemployed. A person without a task need to be willing and able to occupational and actively in search of work-related to be counted as unemployed; otherwise, a perboy without a task is counted as being out of the labor force. The unemployment price is identified as the variety of unemployed persons divided by the variety of persons in the labor pressure (not the overall adult population). The Current Population Survey (CPS) performed by the United States Census Bureau actions the portion of the labor force that is unemployed. The establishment payroll survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the net adjust in work produced for the month.

Self-Check Questions

Suppose the adult populace over the age of 16 is 237.8 million and the labor pressure is 153.9 million (of whom 139.1 million are employed). How many people are “not in the labor force?” What are the proparts of employed, unemployed and not in the labor force in the population? Hint: Proparts are percentperiods.

Rewatch Questions

What is the distinction between being unemployed and also being out of the labor force?How is the unemployment price calculated? How is the labor pressure participation rate calculated?Are all adults that do not hold tasks counted as unemployed?If you are out of institution but functioning part time, are you considered employed or unemployed in U.S. labor statistics? If you are a full-time student and also functioning 12 hrs a week at the college cafeteria are you considered employed or not in the labor force? If you are a senior citizen that is collecting social protection and a pension and functioning as a greeter at Wal-Mart are you considered employed or not in the labor force?What happens to the joblessness price once unemployed workers are reclassified as discouraged workers?What happens to the labor pressure participation rate once employed people are reclassified as unemployed? What happens once they are reclassified as discouraged workers?What are some of the troubles through making use of the unemployment rate as a precise measure of as a whole joblessness?What criteria are used by the BLS to count someone as employed? As unemployed?Assess whether the following would be counted as “unemployed” in the Current Employment Statistics survey.A husband also willingly remains house through children while his wife functions.A manufacturing worker whose factory simply closed dvery own.A college student doing an unphelp summer internship.A retiree.Someone who has actually been out of occupational for 2 years yet keeps looking for a task.Someone that has actually been out of job-related for 2 months however isn’t searching for a job.Someone that hates her current project and also is actively searching for an additional one.Someone who decides to take a part time job bereason she could not discover a full time position.

Critical Thinking Questions

Using the definition of the unemployment rate, is a rise in the joblessness price necessarily a poor point for a nation?Is a decrease in the unemployment rate necessarily a great point for a nation? Exsimple.If many workers come to be discouraged from searching for work, explain how the number of jobs can decrease but the unemployment rate might autumn at the exact same time.Would you intend covert joblessness to be better, reduced, or around the very same when the joblessness rate is high, say 10%, versus low, say 4%? Exordinary.

A nation via a population of eight million adults has actually 5 million employed, 500,000 unemployed, and the rest of the adult populace is out of the labor force. What’s the joblessness rate? What share of populace is in the labor force? Lay out a pie chart that divides the adult populace into these 3 groups.

See more: What Is A Group Of Books Called, A Group Of Books Is Called


Answers to Self-Check Questions

The population is separated into those “in the labor force” and those “not in the labor force.” Hence, the number of adults not in the labor force is 237.8 – 153.9 = 83.9 million. Because the labor pressure is split right into employed persons and also unemployed persons, the number of unemployed persons is 153.9 – 139.1 = 14.8 million. Hence, the adult populace has the complying with proportions:139.1/237.8 = 58.5% employed persons14.8/237.8 = 6.2% unemployed persons83.9/237.8 = 35.3% persons out of the labor forceThe unemployment price is characterized as the number of unemployed persons as a percent of the labor pressure or 14.8/153.9 = 9.6%. This is greater than the February 2015 unemployment price, computed earlier, of 5.5%.