Department of Numbers

Unemployment Demographics

In addition to the headline unemployment rate, the BLS also breaks out the unemployment rate for numerous demographic groups. The unemployment rate by education level, race/ethnicity, age and gender are reported below.

Unemployment Rate by Education Level

In 1992, the BLS began tracking unemployment rates by education level. Highlighted below are the unemployment rates for the following four groups classified by education attained: 1. Less than a high school diploma 2. A high school diploma but no college 3. Some college or an Associate degree 4. Bachelor's degree or higher. All groups consist of individuals 25 years old or higher.

Education Level Achieved September 2017 Month/Month
Less than
High School
6.5% +0.5 -2.0
High School Grad
No College
4.3% -0.8 -0.9
Some College
or Associate Degree
3.6% -0.2 -0.6
Bachelor's Degree
or Higher
2.3% -0.1 -0.2

Unemployment Rate: Some HS, HS Grad, Some College, Bachelor's or Higher

Chart of the unemployment rate by education level

Note: Recessions shown in gray

Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity

The unemployment rate by race time series goes back to 1954. With the exception of the Asian time series, all of the rates shown here are seasonally adjusted. Hispanics may be of any race.

Race/Ethnicity September 2017 Month/Month
White 3.7% -0.2 -0.7
Black or
African American
7.0% -0.7 -1.3
Hispanic or Latino 5.1% -0.1 -1.3
Asian 3.5% -0.5 -0.3

Unemployment Rate: White, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian

Chart of the unemployment rate by race/ethnicity

Unemployment Rate by Age

The unemployment age time series begins in 1948. Recent history has shown greater employment stability as age increases.

Age Range September 2017 Month/Month
25-34 4.4% -0.5 -0.7
35-44 3.2% -0.2 -0.9
45-54 3.1% -0.5 -0.5
55+ 3.2% 0.0 -0.4

Unemployment Rate: 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+

Chart of the unemployment rate by age

Unemployment Rate by Gender

The unemployment rate time series for men and women also begins in 1948. Traditionally, women have had greater employment stability than men during economic downturns.

Sex September 2017 Month/Month
Male 4.3% -0.2 -0.8
Female 4.2% -0.2 -0.6

Unemployment Rate: Male, Female

Chart of the unemployment rate by gender