Nearly One In Ten Families Experienced Unemployment

Barb Wire

The current national unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that unemployment touches nearly 10 percent of families.

According to BLS data, nearly 7.7 million (9.6 percent) American families had at least one member who was unable to find employment in 2013. While this number is still high, it is lower than the 10.5 percent in 2012 and 12.4 percent in 2010.

Although most families are faring better than they did at the start of the recovery, they are still a long ways off of returning pre-recession levels.

Just before the economic crisis, only 6.3 percent of families were directly touched by unemployment.

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Some categories of families are worse off than others.

As of 2013, Asian families have been the least impacted by the downturn in employment opportunities caused by the recession, with only 7.8 percent of families suffering from joblessness.

About 8.5 percent of white families and 12.9 percent of Hispanic families also dealt with an unemployed family member in 2013.

The crisis hit African-American families the hardest. In 2013, 16 percent of black families experienced joblessness within their households — more than double that of Asian families.

Employment numbers for African Americans between 2012 and 2013 have also improved the least out of the previously mentioned racial demographics.

There were also significant employment disparities between families headed by married and unmarried individuals.

For instance, while only 7.8 percent of households with a married couple experienced unemployment last year, 14 percent of families headed by an unmarried individual were touched by joblessness.

In most cases — 79 percent of the time — married couples still had one partner working when the other lost his or her job.

And among married-couple families with children, 96.3 percent had at least one employed parent in 2013.

The BLS’s next employment situation report will be released Friday.

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