U.S. Unemployment Statistics
What is the unemployment rate in the United States?
The unemployment rate, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is the percent of people in the labor force who are unemployed. The labor force is essentially the pool of currently-available Americans; it excludes people not seeking employment, such as retired seniors and small children.
Characteristics of the unemployed population, shown below, are reported by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). Unlike the Census, which is an exact count of people and households every ten years, ACS statistics are estimated based on a representative survey sample.