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Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent in December 2011

January 09, 2012

Both the number of unemployed persons (13.1 million) and the unemployment rate (8.5 percent) continued to trend down in December. The unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point since August.

Unemployment rate, and number of unemployed, seasonally adjusted, January 2008-December 2011
[Chart data]

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men decreased to 8.0 percent in December. The jobless rates for adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (23.1 percent), whites (7.5 percent), blacks (15.8 percent), and Hispanics (11.0 percent) showed little change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The civilian labor force participation rate (64.0 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were both unchanged over the month.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 371,000 to 8.1 million in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — December 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0012.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent in December 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120109.htm (visited December 19, 2014).

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