True
Rate of Unemployment
Out of the Population*

53.5%

January 2021

53.9%

December 2020

54.3%

November 2020

* As defined by the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP)
Headline
Rate of Unemployment
Out of the Population*

42.5%

January 2021

42.6%

December 2020

42.7%

November 2020

* As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is the “True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population”?

The True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population, as defined by the Ludwig Institute of Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP), measures the percentage of the whole U.S. population that is functionally unemployed.

Using data compiled by the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population tracks the percentage of the U.S. population (age 16 and older) that does not have a full-time job (35+ hours a week), or has a part-time job but wants more hours, and does not earn a living wage, which is conservatively pegged at $20,000 annually before taxes.

For a more in-depth explanation of the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population, please reference this white paper.

True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population

1995-2020

Select any point on the chart to see the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population for that month.

2000
2005
2010
2015
2020
1995

True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population by Race

Select any point on the chart to see the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population for that month.

58.3%
Black
January 2021
55.2%
Hispanic
January 2021
52.8%
White
January 2021
2000
2005
2010
2015
2020
1995

True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population by Sex

Select any point on the chart to see the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population for that month.

60.2%
Female
January 2021
46.4%
Male
January 2021
2000
2005
2010
2015
2020
1995

True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population by Education

Select any point on the chart to see the True Rate of Unemployment Out of the Population for that month.

79.4%
No High School
January 2021
59.2%
High School Diploma
January 2021
49.6%
Some College
January 2021
39.0%
Bachelors Degree
January 2021
36.4%
Advanced Degree
January 2021
2000
2005
2010
2015
2020
1995

True Rate of Unemployment by State

August 2020

Select any state or percentage to see the most recent True Rate of Unemployment.