15 Stunning Statistics About the Jobs Market

In August, the economy had essentially the same number of jobs as it had in January 2000.


12. 9.6 percent. Who says college isn't worth it? The unemployment rate for those whose highest level of education is high school stands at 9.6 percent. For those with a bachelor's degree or higher, the rate is only 4.3 percent.

13. 8.6 to 8.9 percent. That's where the Federal Reserve expects the unemployment rate to be at the end of this year. Many private economists have offered much more dire predictions. For instance, Goldman Sachs expects unemployment to still hover near 9 percent at the end of 2012.

14. 18.5 percent. Earlier this month, Gallup found that 18.5 percent of the total workforce remains underemployed, meaning they're unemployed or working part-time but they want to work full-time. That level is basically unchanged from a year ago. "Focusing merely on unemployment instead of underemployment tends to ignore the hardship facing the millions of Americans forced to work part time," says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup in a recent news release. The underemployment number is even higher for certain subgroups, including those ages 18 to 29 (28.9 percent), those who have not attended college (23.1 percent), and among blacks (27.8 percent), according to Gallup.

15. $49,445. Recently, the Census Bureau announced that real median household income fell to $49,445 in 2010, the lowest number since 1997 after adjusting for inflation. "We have fewer workers working fewer hours at lower wages in an inflation-adjusted sense," O'Keefe says.

Twitter: @benbaden

Corrected on 09/28/2011: An earlier version of this story misstated the average duration of unemployment, the total number of nonfarm payroll jobs, the percentage of the unemployed that are considered long-term unemployed, and the unemployment rate for adult men and women. Respectively, the correct figures are 40 weeks, 131.1 million, 43 percent, 8.9 percent, and 8 percent.