Unemployment Rate and the Economy

Find the current general unemployment rate and stay on top of the employment rate for particular professions and industries. Research career and salary trends, and learn about current news relating to the labor and job market.

State Labor Statistics about Jobs and the Local State Economy

Find the latest local state labor statistics and stats relating to employment and hiring trends.
Governments regularly announce employment statistics and data in order to demonstrate and forecast the state of the national economy and employer demand. However, international comparisons of labor statistics including economic and unemployment data are notoriously unreliable owing to different means of determining and assessing unemployment levels.

Despite the wide scale adoption of the International Labour Organization's definition of unemployment strong differences remain which make international comparisons difficult. Because of this, organizations like Eurostat, the OECD, and the International Labor Comparisons Program exist to make adjustments in the data and so facilitate such comparison.

Though most laboring people are concerned with the number of unemployed people, economists care more about the unemployment rate as such. This is not for lack of compassion, but because the statistical rate makes correction for normal increases in population growth and the relative increase in the nation's labor force. The unemployment rate consists of a percentage which is calculated by unemployed workers divided by the total labor force. In order to count as an "unemployed worker" according to the National Labour organization, one must be willing and able to work for pay, have actively sought work, and are currently available for work, but are at present unemployed (for whatever reason). The same organization names those as "actively seeking work" to be in contact with potential employers, submitting applications, sending out resumes, enrolling in job placement agencies, and responding to advertisements, and that one must have done so at least once in the preceding four weeks.

Another in-built inaccuracy in the statistical employment data is the fact that not all unemployment is open or public. To combat these and other difficulties, the International Labour Organization has identified four ways of calculating the unemployment rate. Of these, the preferred method are sample surveys which offer the most comprehensive picture of unemployment by demographic group. This is the method considered most internationally acceptable.