Dr. Ed’s
Economic
Indicators

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

Release Date: Monthly
Release Coverage: Prior Month's Data
Released By: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Official Release: http://www.bls.gov/cps/home.htm

The U.S. unemployment rate represents the percentage of the civilian labor force which is unemployed as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "persons 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 were not working and were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed. The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force."

WHAT DR. ED SAYS:

Unemployment will give you an idea of the current situation for job growth or loss. This specific indicator represents the national level of unemployment. To further find meaning in the number, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides regional and state numbers for unemployment and state numbers.

Although the national unemployment rate gives significant detail into where and how jobs are being created at a national level, it is just as important to review the local situation. Getting an idea of the current business cycle and economic climate for jobs is vital to the success of your institution. The unemployment index generally is associated with overall economic growth or contraction.

Nonfarm payroll employment indicates the current level of economic activity. As payrolls increase expenditures tend to rise, barring any strong affinity to save, all translating to economic growth. The greater the increases in employment, the faster the total economic growth.

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