Friday, January 6, 2012

December 2011 Unemployment: 8.5%

After holding steady at about 9 percent during most of 2011, the jobless rate has now declined by 0.6 percentage points in just the last three months as the number of unemployed persons has fallen from 13.9 million to 13.1 million. During that same time, the size of the labor force has decreased from 154.0 million to 153.9 million, reducing the participation rate from 64.1 percent to 64.0 percent.

A broader measure of job distress – U6 underemployment that includes discouraged workers and those settling for part-time work – fell from 15.6 percent to 15.2 percent, down from a high of nearly 17 percent earlier in the year.

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