U.S. Workforce Analysis: June 2024

Our monthly workforce analysis has been updated to include the latest employment report for June. The unemployment rate rose to 4.1%, its highest level since November 2021. Additionally, the number of new non-farm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 206K.

The Unemployment Rate

The closely watched headline unemployment rate is a calculation of the percentage of the civilian labor force, age 16 and older, that is currently unemployed. In the latest report, this indicator rose to 4.1% which was higher than the forecasted 4.0% rate. This marks the second straight month the unemployment rate has been 4.0% or higher after 27 consecutive months below 4.0% (the longest streak since the late 60s).

Let's put this metric into its historical context. The first chart below illustrates this monthly data point since 1990.

Unemployment Rate since 1990

The age 16+ population increased by 190,000 and the labor force increased by 277,000. The breakdown of the growth is an increase of 116,000 employed and a 162,000 increase in the unemployed.