Down 1.3 million from 2011
WASHINGTON (Dec. 11, 2013) — A total of 156.2 million persons worked at some point during 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The proportion of the civilian non-institutional population age 16 and over who worked at some time during 2012 was 63.8 percent, up from 63.3 percent in 2011. The number of persons who experienced some unemployment during 2012 decreased by 1.3 million to 22.4 million.
These data are based on information collected in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The ASEC collects information on employment and unemployment experienced during the prior calendar year.
Highlights from the 2012 data:
♦ The proportion of workers who worked full time, year round in 2012 was 65.5 percent, little different from the prior year.
♦ The “work-experience unemployment rate”–defined as the number of persons unemployed at some time during the year as a proportion of the number of persons who worked or looked for work during the year–fell by 1.0 percentage point over the year to 13.9 percent in 2012.
♦ About 5.5 million individuals looked for a job but did not work at all in 2012, down from 6.2 million in 2011.
Persons with employment
The proportion of men who worked during 2012 was 69.5 percent, up from 68.8 percent in 2011. The proportion of women who worked at some point during 2012 was 58.4 percent, little changed from 2011.
The proportions of whites (64.5 percent), blacks (59.1 percent), Asians (64.5 percent), and Hispanics (64.3 percent) who worked at some time during 2012 increased from 2011.
Among those with work experience during 2012, 78.4 percent usually worked full time, little different from 2011. Men continued to be more likely to work full time during the year (84.5 percent) than women (71.5 percent). The proportions of employed men and women working full time showed little change over the year.
Of the total who worked during 2012, 76.7 percent were employed year round (working 50 to 52 weeks, either full or part time), little changed from 2011. The percentage of women working year round decreased by 0.8 percentage point to 74.7 percent in 2012, while the percentage of men employed year round was little changed at 78.5 percent.
Persons with unemployment
Overall, 161.7 million persons worked or looked for work at some time in 2012. Of those, 22.4 million experienced some unemployment during the year, 1.3 million fewer than in 2011. Men accounted for a disproportionately large share of the over-the-year decline in those who experienced some unemployment.
At 13.9 percent in 2012, the work-experience unemployment rate (those looking for work during the year as a percent of those who worked or looked for work during the year) was 1.0 percentage point lower than in 2011. The work-experience unemployment rates for whites (12.8 percent) and blacks (20.6 percent) declined from 2011 to 2012, while the rates for Asians (10.6 percent) and Hispanics (17.3 percent) changed little.
Overall, men continued to have higher work-experience unemployment rates in 2012 than women, 14.5 percent versus 13.1 percent. Among whites, blacks, and Hispanics, the rates for men were higher than the rates for women. Among Asians, the rates for men and women were little different from each other.
Among those who experienced unemployment in 2012, the median number of weeks spent looking for work fell to 18.4, following 3 years of little movement. The number of persons who looked for a job but did not work at all in 2012 declined by 701,000 over the year to 5.5 million. Of the 16.9 million individuals who worked during 2012 and also experienced unemployment, 22.2 percent had two or more spells of joblessness, up from 20.1 percent in 2011.