Unemployment in the United States in October 2012

Unemployment in the United States in October 2012


            The rate of unemployment implies the percentage of labor force that is not employed. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics undertakes a nationwide random survey of several households monthly to determine who is employed or not. In various questions, it asked the household members who are employed, unemployed and searching for a job and those not looking searching for a job. From the answers given by the respondents, it determines the rate of unemployment for the whole nation.

From this data, the unemployment rate can be determined based on different demographic aspects. When observing the monthly data on unemployment, it will be found that it is sliced by race, education attainment, gender, or age. However, the different dimensions operate together to create demographic composites for which the rate of unemployment appears diverse. This paper evaluates the rate of unemployment for the month of October 2012. It does that by checking the different demographic aspects like age, race and ethnicity, gender, and education.


Recent history shows that there is greater stability in employment with the increase in age. Employers have a tendency of shedding older workers and being hesitant to hire them again. Older workers with long experiences of unemployment are increasingly likely to drop from the labor force. Younger workers and those joining the workforce initially and have significant difficulty to find work.

Age range October 2012 Month/Months (points) Year/ Year (Points)
25-34 8.1% -0.2 -1.6
35-44 6.3% -0.3 -1.1
45-54 6.1% -0.3 -1.1
55+ 5.9% 0.0 -0.8

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. department of labor

Problems to find work for experienced, older workers are true across ethnicity, race and gender. This problem can be solved by having tax incentives for hiring older workers together with an educational campaign for encouraging hiring and discouraging of discrimination. Labor force participation normally ratio of employment and population occurs after 55. Nonetheless, people with some or more qualifications go on looking for work after the age of 55, but with limited success than younger workers. Though, younger workers may face higher initial rate of unemployment, chances of finding work are high and fast.

The challenges for young workers, specifically those having college degrees, may indicate new graduates taking long to secure their first jobs. Continual of high unemployment for individuals with a high school degree or below suggests that workers are losing jobs with the contraction of the economy but with an ability to get a job when chances come. The middle aged, and older workers pattern indicate that employers have a tendency of shedding their most experienced and most expensive workers and companies hesitating to hire from the same age group. Downsizing of workers with experience may men considerable loss of long term perspective in issues together with knowledge from years of toiling in the sector.

Race and Ethnicity

The rate of unemployment by race time series started in 1954. Except for Asian time series, the rates indicated here are adjusted seasonally. Hispanics may come from any race.

Race/Ethnicity October 2012



Asian 4.8% -1.1 -3.0
Hispanic or Latino 9.9% -0.3 -1.4
Black or African American 13.4% -0.7 -2.5
White 7.0% -0.2 -0.9

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. department of labor

Longer unemployment and higher unemployment patterns for African Americans have been reported homogeneously over time. This has been due to convoluted combination of historical discrimination, lower education levels and failure to have proximity or connection to stable jobs. Majority of research have indicated that groups that have high immigrant populations like Asians, Latinos/Hispanics find jobs quickly or go back to native country in times of financial turmoil. Hispanics or Latinos and Asians are now native born with a labor market experience that is complex for both groups based on diverse differences. These depend on the origin country, class, and education and where people live and whether they are native born or immigrant.

Though there is a need for further research, it can be said that the other factors that result to discrepancies between the whites and others are compounded for African /Black Americans who have disabilities. This is due to lower access to programs that help with placement into jobs, especially the older people. Observing both type of disability and program access closely may indicate why there are these differences.


            The rate of unemployment time series for men and women started in 1948. Habitually, women have been having greater stability in employment as compared to men during economic decline.

Gender October 2012



Female 7.5% -0.3 -1.1
Male 8.0% -0.3 -1.4

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. department of labor

The economic trends matter more than gender in the determination of those who lose jobs in an economy. The men are showing higher rates of unemployment than women. The reason behind this is that industries that generally employ more men experience greater economic turmoil while conventionally female occupations such as educations have been safeguarded from major layoffs as a result of stimulus funds. Occupations that are facing high rates of unemployment were in fields linked with manufacturing, hospitality, banking and housing.

Support on social welfare positions has started disappearing due to lower less funding for profits and lower donations. This will probably deepen government at levels of workers linked to safety net programs. Unemployment in the given economy sectors comprised everyone from those in management to front line workers. When comparing men to women, it shows that women had lower rates of unemployment in lower education levels.

However, when examining those with professional degrees and PhD, the unemployment level for women is less than that of men. Some of the disparities depend on the economy sector that lost jobs and the ones that have been safeguarded from loss of jobs by economy recovery stimulus funds. Economic turmoil in manufacturing and constructions implied considerable unemployment in a majority of predominantly male careers from trades in construction, to engineers and architects.

Highway projects stimulus and other projects on conservation and energy efficiency have created extra jobs for men in these fields. Contrastingly, jobs for the majority of women with education above the level of high school have been comparatively shielded since the bulk stimulus funds have been channeled to initiatives of education. The funds have been used for teacher retaining, as well as other positions in local schools.


The rate of unemployment by level of education began being tracked in 1992. The highlighted are rates of unemployment for four groups classified by the attained education. All the groups consisted of individuals aged 25 years and above.

Education Level Achieved

September 2012



Bachelor’s Degree
or Higher




Some College
or Associate Degree




High School Grad
No College




Less than
High School




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. department of labor
Education has a considerable impact on unemployment. For people without high school diploma, the unemployment rate is highest.

Unlike from the preceding recessions, higher education never protected people from being unemployed. Though individuals without high school diploma or only post-secondary education were on the rise, unemployment for individuals with associate degrees, college and above had also a significant level of unemployment. Additionally, people with associate degrees had considerably higher unemployment levels. While greater percentages of individuals with lower level of education are getting unemployed, a majority with advanced education and strong skills are losing their jobs, and it becomes troublesome to get a new job.

A high number of men with less than high school education begin looking for employment with the increase in labor force participation across different ages. High school educated men have the worst scenarios with rates of unemployment going up over time. Some of the younger adults together with discouraged workers are returning to school to get advanced education.


The rate of unemployment is showing differences considering different demographics. The unemployment rate is showing distinctions for different age groups and educational levels. In addition, unemployment rate is influenced by race and ethnicity as well as gender of an individual in the labor force. These factors work together to determine the unemployment rate of the entire population.  Depending with the reasons for unemployment for individual, different measures can be done to get a solution for the problem. For instance, if education is the cause for unemployment, proving education to the population can solve the problem of unemployment.


Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. department of labor, News Release: The employment situation – September 2012
Schneider, J.A. ‘Who are the long term unemployed in this recession and what can be done to help them’ Retrieved on October 31, 2012 from http://www.thecyberhood.net/documents/papers/unemployment.pdf

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