Unemployment Rate – United States

The US Unemployment Rate reflects the percentage of people considered unemployed in the United States. Unemployment is the single most popularly used figure to give a snapshot of US labor market conditions. Because the Federal Reserve is under strict pressure to keep unemployment under control, high unemployment puts downward pressure on interest rates, as the Fed will look to bolster the economy to remedy the employment situation.

More generally, unemployment is indicative of the economy’s production, private consumption, workers’ earnings, and consumer sentiment. A lower unemployment rate translates into more employed individuals with paychecks, which leads to higher consumer spending, economic growth and potential inflationary pressures. Conversely, high levels of unemployment are connected with lower incomes, lower spending, and economic stagnation.

Note: The figure is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed individuals in the labor force by the total labor force. Technically, Unemployment Rate = (# Unemployed Persons in Labor Force) / (Total # Persons in Labor Force). Persons are considered unemployed if they are able and willing to work but without a job and have actively sought employment within the last 4 weeks. The labor force includes all employed and unemployed individuals 16 years and older. Thus Unemployment could technical alter based on changes in the number of people in the people in the workforce, or changes in the number of people looking for employment.

Relevance: Moderate market impact
Release schedule : 8:30 (EST); monthly, usually first Friday of every month,
Revisions schedule : previous two months, can be major, benchmark changes every 10 years
Source of report: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor (U.S.)
Web Address : http://www.bls.gov/home.htm
Address of release : http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm

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