Labor Markets

Source and Methodological Information

List of Indicators

Official Unemployment Rate

Employment to Population Ratio

Labor Force Participation Rate

Percent of Labor Force Unemployed 15 Weeks or Longer

Percent of Labor Force Looking for Work because of Job Loss

Percent of Labor Force Employed Part-Time for Economic Reasons

Underemployment Rate

Percent Change in Payroll Employment

Number of Job Openings

Job Seekers Per Job Opening

Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers Age 25 and Over

10th Percentile of Hourly Wages

20th Percentile of Hourly Wages

30th Percentile of Hourly Wages

40th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Median Hourly Wages

60th Percentile of Hourly Wages

70th Percentile of Hourly Wages

80th Percentile of Hourly Wages

90th Percentile of Hourly Wages

95th Percentile of Hourly Wages

50/10 Ratio of Hourly Wages

90/10 Ratio of Hourly Wages

90/50 Ratio of Hourly Wages

95/50 Ratio of Hourly Wages

95/90 Ratio of Hourly Wages

 


Official Unemployment Rate

Description

The number of unemployed people as a percentage of the civilian labor force. 

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as unemployed.

The civilian labor force includes people who are currently working and people who are unemployed according to the above definition.

For more information about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment (and labor underutilization more broadly), see the documents “How the Government Measures Unemployment" and “Measures of Labor Underutilization from the Current Population Survey” (Steven A. Haugen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper, March 2009). 

 


Employment to Population Ratio

Description

The number of people age 16 and over who are employed, as a percentage of the total population age 16 and over.

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey.

 


Labor Force Participation Rate

Description

The number of people in the civilian labor force, as a percentage of the total population age 16 and over.

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Methodological Notes

The labor force includes two main groups of people: those who are currently employed, and those who aren’t currently employed but have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as part of the labor force. 

 


Percent of Labor Force Unemployed 15 Weeks or Longer

Description

The number of people unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percentage of the civilian labor force. 

Source


The overall trend (population "All") is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation News Release. Breakdowns by gender, race, age, and educational attainment are produced by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, using microdata from the monthly Current Population Survey.  Microdata are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Methodological Notes

The labor force includes two main groups of people: those who are currently employed, and those who aren’t currently employed but have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as part of the labor force.

For more information about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment (and labor underutilization more broadly), see the documents “How the Government Measures Unemployment" and “Measures of Labor Underutilization from the Current Population Survey” (Steven A. Haugen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper, March 2009).

 


Percent of Labor Force Looking for Work because of Job Loss

Description

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percentage of the civilian labor force.

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation News Release. Breakdowns by gender, race, age, and educational attainment are produced by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, using microdata from the monthly Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Job losers are people who became unemployed because they lost their jobs (rather than those who recently entered the job market or those who quit jobs to look for work). 

The labor force includes two main groups of people: those who are currently employed, and those who aren’t currently employed but have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as part of the labor force.

For more information about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment (and labor underutilization more broadly), see the documents “How the Government Measures Unemployment" and “Measures of Labor Underutilization from the Current Population Survey” (Steven A. Haugen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper, March 2009).

 


Percent of Labor Force Employed Part-Time for Economic Reasons

Description

The number of people who worked 1 to 34 hours during the previous week and gave an economic reason for working part-time, as a percentage of the civilian labor force.

Source

Percentages are calculated by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation News Release. Breakdowns by gender, race, age, and educational attainment are produced by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, using microdata from the monthly Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Examples of economic reasons for working part-time include slack work or unfavorable business conditions, inability to find full-time work, and seasonal declines in demand.

The labor force includes two main groups of people: those who are currently employed, and those who aren’t currently employed but have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as part of the labor force.

For more information about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment (and labor underutilization more broadly), see the documents "How the Government Measures Unemployment" and “Measures of Labor Underutilization from the Current Population Survey” (Steven A. Haugen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper, March 2009).

 


Underemployment Rate

Description

The total number of unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force (including discouraged workers), plus the total number of people employed part-time for economic reasons, as a percentage of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force. 

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation News Release. Breakdowns by gender, race, age, and educational attainment are produced by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, using microdata from the monthly Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as unemployed.

People are classified as marginally attached to the labor force if they are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers are a subset of marginally attached workers. People are classified as discouraged workers if they are not currently employed and are not looking for work, but give a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work (for example, they believe there are no jobs available to them in their line or work, or they have previously been unable to find work). 

People working part-time for economic reasons are those who worked 1 to 34 hours during the survey’s reference week, and gave an economic reason for working part-time, such as slack work or unfavorable business conditions, inability to find full-time work, or seasonal declines in demand.

The labor force includes two main groups of people: those who are currently employed, and those who aren’t currently employed but have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as part of the labor force.

For more information about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment (and labor underutilization more broadly), see the documents "How the Government Measures Unemployment" and “Measures of Labor Underutilization from the Current Population Survey” (Steven A. Haugen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper, March 2009).

 


Percent Change in Payroll Employment

Description

Percent change from the previous year in the number of people employed.

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics.

Methodological Notes

The Current Employment Statistics survey is a monthly survey of the payroll records of business establishments and government agencies. Because it collects data from establishments in the nonfarm sector, it excludes self-employment and all employment in the farm sector. Industries are classified according the the 2012 North American Industry Classification System.

 


Number of Job Openings

Description

The average monthly number of non-farm job openings reported by employers.

Source

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Methodological Notes

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the total number of non-farm job openings each month using the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which is a monthly survey of U.S. business establishments. The number of job openings is reported for the last business day of the month. Annual averages are calculated by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. 

 


Job Seekers per Job Opening

Description

Total number of unemployed people divided by the total number of non-farm job openings.

Source

Ratios are calculated by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed people is from the Current Population Survey, and the number of nonfarm job openings is from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Methodological Notes

People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks, and are currently available for work. Persons who are not working and are waiting to be recalled to a job from which they have been temporarily laid off are also counted as unemployed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the total number of non-farm job openings each month using the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which is a monthly survey of U.S. business establishments. The number of job openings is reported for the last business day of the month. Annual averages are calculated by CPI.

 


Median Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers Age 25 and Over

Description

Median annual earnings of full-time, year-round workers age 25 and over in constant dollars.

Source

U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables for People. The Census Bureau’s estimates are based on data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Methodological Notes

Before 2009, if the median income was above $100,000, the Census Bureau reported it as $100,000; starting in 2009, if the median income was above $250,000, the Census Bureau reported it as $250,000 (see footnote 36 of the Historical Income Tables). These values have been replaced by missing values in the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality database.

Earnings are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


10th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 10th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 10th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 10 percent of workers from the top 90 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


20th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 20th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 20th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 20 percent of workers from the top 80 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


30th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 30th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 30th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 30 percent of workers from the top 70 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


40th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 40th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 40th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 40 percent of workers from the top 60 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


Median Hourly Wages

Description

Median hourly wage for all workers in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the median would be the value that divides the bottom 50 percent of workers from the top 50 percent.

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


60th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 60th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 60th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 60 percent of workers from the top 40 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


70th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 70th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 70th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 70 percent of workers from the top 30 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


80th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 80th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 80th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 80 percent of workers from the top 20 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


90th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 90th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 90th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 90 percent of workers from the top 10 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America.  EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


95th Percentile of Hourly Wages

Description

The 95th percentile of hourly wages, in constant dollars. If all workers were put in order from highest to lowest hourly wage, the 95th percentile would be the value that divides the bottom 95 percent of workers from the top 5 percent. 

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

Methodological Notes

Wages are adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Research Series (CPI-U-RS).

 


50/10 Ratio of Hourly Wages

Description

The 50th percentile of hourly wages for all workers, divided by the 10th percentile

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

 


90/10 Ratio of Hourly Wages

Description

The 90th percentile of hourly wages for all workers, divided by the 10th percentile

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

 


90/50 Ratio of Hourly Wages

Description

The 90th percentile of hourly wages for all workers, divided by the 50th percentile

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

 


95/50 Ratio of Hourly Wages

Description

The 95th percentile of hourly wages for all workers, divided by the 50th percentile

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.

 


95/90 Ratio of Hourly Wages

Description

The 95th percentile of hourly wages for all workers, divided by the 90th percentile

Source

Economic Policy Institute, The State of Working America. EPI’s estimates are based on the Current Population Survey.