Understanding BLS Unemployment Statistics

the bureau of labor statistics would categorize a retiree who is not working as
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Have you ever wondered how the unemployment rate you hear about on the news is calculated? Each month we talk to people across the country, asking questions about what they did last week. Based on their responses, we

divide people into one of three categories: employed, unemployed, and not in the labor force. Lets use this hive and these bees as an example. If you have a job, you are employed. If you do not have

a job, are currently looking for and available to take a job, you are unemployed. Employed and unemployed make up whats called the labor force. Everyone else falls into our third category, not in the labor force. Some

examples are if you are retired, a student, or taking care of your family. The vast majority of people who are not in the labor force say that they do not want a job. To calculate the unemployment

the employed and the unemployed to get the labor force. Then you divide the number of unemployed by the labor force. So the unemployment rate is the unemployed divided by the labor force. To learn more check out BLS.gov/cps.

unemployment, labor force, Current Population Survey, household survey, BLS, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPS
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