United States: unemployment



The graph above shows US unemployment rates since 1993. The jobless total peaked at 15.6 million (10.1 per cent of the population) in October 2009 — the highest since June 1983 — and has now fallen to around 8 per cent.

The US labour force is 154 million-strong (out of a population of more than 310 million), with 91 per cent employed by the private sector and 8 per cent employed in the public sector. Among the largest employers are the federal Department of Defence, with 3.2 million employees, and Walmart, with 1.4 million workers in the US, making it the largest private-sector employer anywhere in the world.