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In addition to people who are working, the labor force includes all of the unemployed people who are looking for work. Regardless of their age, people who stop looking for work are considered to have left the labor force. They are not counted among the unemployed by the Department of Labor. In 2005 more than half of the 76.8 million people who were not in the labor force were aged fifty-five or older; approximately 21.4 million (27.9%) were between the ages of twenty-five and fiftyfour; and 14.4 million (18.7%) were aged sixteen to twenty-four. Nearly six of ten (59.6%) were women. Most of those not in the labor force (71.8 million) did not want a job at the time they were surveyed by the U.S. Department of Labor. Of the approximately five million people who were out of the labor force but did still want a job, 2.1 million (43%) had looked for work during the previous year. (See Table 3.11.)

Reasons for Not Working

The reasons people were not working or looking for work included school or family responsibilities, ill health or disability, and discouragement over job prospects. Women's reasons for being out of the labor force differed from those reported by men, according to the BLS in Employment and Earnings. Of the 756,000 women who were available to work but not currently looking for a job in 2005, 123,000 (16.3%) cited taking care of their home or family as their reason for not working; 99,000 (13%) were in school; and 55,000 (7.3%) were either ill or disabled. In contrast, among the 789,000 men who were available to work but out of the labor force in 2005, 36,000 (4.6%) were taking care of their family or home; 118,000 (15%) were in school or training; and 64,000 (8.1%) were ill or disabled. Discouragement over job prospects was the reason reported by 33% of men and 22.3% of women who were out of the labor force. (See Table 3.11.)

TABLE 3.6 Unemployed persons by demographic characteristics and duration of unemployment, 2005 "31. Unemployed Persons by Age, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, Marital Status, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat31.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)

TABLE 3.6
Unemployed persons by demographic characteristics and duration of unemployment, 2005
Characteristic 2005
Thousands of persons Weeks
Total Less than 5 weeks 5 to 14 weeks 15 weeks and over Weeks
Total 15 to 26 weeks 27 weeks and over Average (mean) duration Median duration
Note: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. In addition, persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.
SOURCE: "31. Unemployed Persons by Age, Sex, Race, Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, Marital Status, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat31.pdf (accessed January 10, 2006)
Age and sex
   Total, 16 years and over 7,591 2,667 2,304 2,619 1,130 1,490 18.4 8.9
   16 to 19 years 1,186 551 382 253 133 120 11.4 5.4
   20 to 24 years 1,335 526 410 399 195 204 15.7 7.7
   25 to 34 years 1,661 569 517 574 269 305 17.7 9.1
   35 to 44 years 1,400 445 427 527 215 313 20.0 9.9
   45 to 54 years 1,195 335 344 516 187 328 23.8 11.7
   55 to 64 years 630 177 177 277 109 168 23.8 12.0
   65 years and over 184 64 46 74 22 52 25.2 9.7
Men, 16 years and over 4,059 1,396 1,213 1,450 611 839 19.1 9.3
    16 to 19 years 667 288 219 160 83 77 12.5 6.2
    20 to 24 years 775 290 238 246 123 123 16.4 8.4
    25 to 34 years 844 284 255 304 138 166 18.6 9.6
    35 to 44 years 715 230 208 277 108 169 20.7 9.9
    45 to 54 years 624 175 173 276 92 183 24.7 12.2
    55 to 64 years 331 95 93 144 56 88 23.9 11.7
    65 years and over 102 33 26 44 11 32 27.5 10.4
Women, 16 years and over 3,531 1,272 1,090 1,169 519 651 17.6 8.6
   16 to 19 years 519 263 163 93 50 43 10.1 4.4
   20 to 24 years 560 236 172 152 72 80 14.6 6.8
   25 to 34 years 817 285 262 270 131 139 16.9 8.8
   35 to 44 years 685 215 219 250 107 143 19.1 9.8
   45 to 54 years 571 160 171 240 95 145 22.7 11.2
   55 to 64 years 299 82 84 133 54 80 23.8 12.3
   65 years and over 82 31 20 30 10 20 22.3 8.8
Race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
White, 16 years and over 5,350 2,031 1,630 1,689 762 927 16.9 8.1
    Men 2,931 1,089 881 961 422 539 17.6 8.4
    Women 2,419 942 749 729 340 389 16.0 7.7
Black or African American, 16 years and over 1,700 466 516 718 284 435 22.6 11.5
    Men 844 223 252 369 143 226 23.4 12.1
    Women 856 243 264 349 140 209 21.7 11.0
Asian, 16 years and over 259 75 73 111 43 68 23.3 11.6
    Men 141 34 39 68 25 43 25.9 13.7
    Women 118 41 33 44 18 25 20.1 9.3
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 16 years and over 1,191 472 346 373 179 193 16.0 7.8
    Men 647 265 183 199 94 105 15.7 7.5
    Women 544 207 163 174 86 88 16.3 8.0
Marital status
Men, 16 years and over:
    Married, spouse present 1,287 427 381 479 194 286 19.9 9.7
    Widowed, divorced, or separated 563 173 156 235 85 150 23.0 10.7
    Single (never married) 2,209 796 677 736 333 403 17.7 8.7
Women, 16 years and over:
    Married, spouse present 1,168 407 369 392 174 218 18.1 8.7
    Widowed, divorced, or separated 768 243 238 287 124 163 19.6 10.0
    Single (never married) 1,595 622 484 490 220 270 16.3 7.8

TABLE 3.7 Unemployed persons by occupation, industry, and duration of unemployment, 2005 "32. Unemployed Persons by Occupation, Industry, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat32.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)

TABLE 3.7
Unemployed persons by occupation, industry, and duration of unemployment, 2005
Characteristic 2005
Thousands of persons Weeks
Total Less than 5 weeks 5 to 14 weeks 15 weeks and over Weeks
Total 15 to 26 weeks 27 weeks and over Average (mean) duration Median duration
aIncludes wage and salary workers only.
bData not shown where base is less than 35,000
SOURCE: "32. Unemployed Persons by Occupation, Industry, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat32.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)
Occupation
Management, professional, and related occupations 1,172 385 351 436 167 269 20.9 9.7
   Management, business, and financial operations occupations 464 136 135 193 80 112 22.0 11.0
   Professional and related occupations 708 249 216 243 87 157 20.2 9.0
Service occupations 1,587 602 474 511 227 284 17.2 8.2
Sales and office occupations 1,820 619 560 641 287 354 18.0 9.2
   Sales and related occupations 874 316 269 290 131 158 17.0 8.6
   Office and administrative support occupations 946 303 292 351 155 196 19.0 9.9
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations 1,069 410 317 341 155 186 16.8 8.0
   Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations 103 44 32 27 14 13 12.5 6.7
   Construction and extraction occupations 751 300 224 226 110 116 15.8 7.6
   Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations 214 65 61 88 31 57 22.3 10.6
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 1,245 414 370 461 200 261 19.5 9.7
   Production occupations 677 209 192 275 122 153 21.3 10.9
   Transportation and material moving occupations 568 204 178 186 77 109 17.5 8.6
Industrya
Agriculture and related industries 109 48 34 27 12 15 12.3 6.6
Mining 20 7 5 8 4 4 b b
Construction 726 279 231 216 108 108 15.5 7.8
Manufacturing 815 250 239 326 132 195 21.7 10.6
   Durable goods 488 147 142 199 76 124 22.7 11.0
   Nondurable goods 327 103 97 127 56 71 20.1 10.2
Wholesale and retail trade 1,143 378 350 415 185 230 18.8 9.5
Transportation and utilities 256 86 79 91 41 50 18.5 9.5
Information 168 46 46 76 35 41 23.3 12.6
Financial activities 278 96 92 91 35 56 18.1 8.9
Professional and business services 808 274 235 299 127 172 19.4 9.5
Education and health services 871 322 278 271 115 156 17.2 8.2
Leisure and hospitality 954 389 289 277 129 148 15.4 7.2
Other services 303 107 78 117 43 74 21.2 9.6
Public administration 144 40 42 62 24 38 22.8 11.7
No previous work experience 666 229 217 219 87 132 18.7 8.5

TABLE 3.8 Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment, sex, and age, 2004–05 "27. Unemployed Persons by Reason for Unemployment, Sex, and Age," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat27.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)

TABLE 3.8
Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment, sex, and age, 2004–05
[Numbers in thousands]
Reason Total, 16 years and over Men, 20 years and over Women, 20 years and over Both sexes, 16 to 19 years
2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005
SOURCE: "27. Unemployed Persons by Reason for Unemployment, Sex, and Age," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat27.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)
Number of unemployed
    Total unemployed 8,149 7,591 3,791 3,392 3,150 3,013 1,208 1,186
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 4,197 3,667 2,503 2,095 1,529 1,417 165 155
    On temporary layoff 998 933 613 557 326 317 59 59
    Not on temporary layoff 3,199 2,734 1,890 1,538 1,202 1,100 107 96
        Permanent job losers 2,386 1,955 1,366 1,068 949 831 71 56
        Persons who completed temporary jobs 813 779 524 470 253 269 36 40
Job leavers 858 872 398 405 384 391 76 76
Reentrants 2,408 2,386 791 793 1,107 1,103 510 489
New entrants 686 666 99 99 131 101 456 466
Percent distribution
   Total unemployed 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 51.5 48.3 66.0 61.8 48.5 47.0 13.7 13.1
    On temporary layoff 12.2 12.3 16.2 16.4 10.4 10.5 4.9 5.0
    Not on temporary layoff 39.3 36.0 49.8 45.3 38.2 36.5 8.8 8.1
Job leavers 10.5 11.5 10.5 11.9 12.2 13.0 6.3 6.4
Reentrants 29.5 31.4 20.9 23.4 35.1 36.6 42.2 41.3
New entrants 8.4 8.8 2.6 2.9 4.1 3.3 37.8 39.3
Unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 2.8 2.5 3.3 2.7 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.2
Job leavers .6 .6 .5 .5 .6 .6 1.1 1.1
Reentrants 1.6 1.6 1.0 1.0 1.7 1.7 7.2 6.8
New entrants .5 .4 .1 .1 .2 .2 6.4 6.5

TABLE 3.9 Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment, sex, age, and durationof unemployment, 2005 "29. Unemployed Persons by Reason for Unemployment, Sex, Age, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat29.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)

TABLE 3.9
Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment, sex, age, and duration of unemployment, 2005
[Percent distribution]
Reason, sex, and age 2005
Total unemployed Duration of unemployment
Less than 5 weeks 5 to 14 weeks 15 weeks and over
Thousands of persons Percent Total 15 to 26 weeks 27 weeks and over
SOURCE: "29. Unemployed Persons by Reason for Unemployment, Sex, Age, and Duration of Unemployment," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat29.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)
   Total, 16 years and over 7,591 100.0 35.1 30.4 34.5 14.9 19.6
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 3,667 100.0 35.4 30.0 34.6 16.0 18.6
    On temporary layoff 933 100.0 55.2 30.4 14.4 10.0 4.5
    Not on temporary layoff 2,734 100.0 28.6 29.9 41.5 18.1 23.4
        Permanent job losers 1,955 100.0 26.2 29.5 44.2 18.7 25.6
        Persons who completed temporary jobs 779 100.0 34.5 30.8 34.7 16.7 18.0
Job leavers 872 100.0 41.3 30.2 28.5 12.4 16.1
Reentrants 2,386 100.0 32.7 30.3 37.0 14.5 22.4
New entrants 666 100.0 34.5 32.7 32.9 13.0 19.9
Men, 20 years and over 3,392 100.0 32.7 29.3 38.0 15.6 22.5
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 2,095 100.0 34.7 29.6 35.7 16.0 19.6
    On temporary layoff 557 100.0 53.3 31.0 15.6 11.0 4.6
    Not on temporary layoff 1,538 100.0 27.9 29.1 42.9 17.8 25.1
        Permanent job losers 1,068 100.0 25.8 28.4 45.8 18.2 27.6
        Persons who completed temporary jobs 470 100.0 32.7 30.8 36.5 17.0 19.4
Job leavers 405 100.0 37.6 30.0 32.4 13.4 19.0
Reentrants 793 100.0 26.6 28.3 45.1 15.4 29.7
New entrants 99 100.0 18.0 27.7 54.3 15.3 39.0
Women, 20 years and over 3,013 100.0 33.5 30.8 35.7 15.6 20.2
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 1,417 100.0 33.2 30.9 35.8 17.2 18.6
    On temporary layoff 317 100.0 54.6 31.0 14.4 9.7 4.7
    Not on temporary layoff 1,100 100.0 27.1 30.9 42.0 19.4 22.6
        Permanent job losers 831 100.0 24.9 30.8 44.3 19.9 24.4
        Persons who completed temporary jobs 269 100.0 33.8 31.3 34.9 17.6 17.3
Job leavers 391 100.0 41.0 31.1 27.9 12.9 15.0
Reentrants 1,103 100.0 31.4 30.7 37.9 14.5 23.3
New entrants 101 100.0 30.4 28.3 41.4 14.4 26.9
Both sexes, 16 to 19 years 1,186 100.0 46.4 32.2 21.3 11.2 10.1
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 155 100.0 64.1 26.5 9.4 5.5 3.9
    On temporary layoff 59 100.0 76.1 20.7 3.2 1.5 1.8
    Not on temporary layoff 96 100.0 56.8 30.1 13.2 8.0 5.2
        Permanent job losers 56 100.0 54.0 32.6 3.4 8.4 5.0
        Persons who completed temporary jobs 40 100.0 60.6 26.6 12.8 7.3 5.5
Job leavers 76 100.0 62.7 26.6 10.7 4.3 6.4
Reentrants 489 100.0 45.6 32.6 21.8 13.1 8.7
New entrants 466 100.0 38.8 34.7 26.5 12.2 14.3

TABLE 3.10 Unemp0loyed job-seekers by sex, reason for unemployment, and active job search methods used, 2005 "34. Unemployed Jobseekers by Sex, Reason for Unemployment, and Active Jobsearch Methods Used," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat34.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)

TABLE 3.10
Unemployed job-seekers by sex, reason for unemployment, and active job search methods used, 2005
Sex and reason 2005
Thousands of persons Methods used as a percent of total jobseekers Average number of methods used
Total unemployed Total job-seekers Employer directly Sent out resumes or filled out applications Placed or answered ads Friends or relatives Public employment agency Private employment agency Other
*Data on the number of job-seekers and the job search methods used exclude persons on temporary layoff.
Note: The job-seekers total is less than the total unemployed because it does not include persons on temporary layoff. The percent using each method will always total more than 100 because many job-seekers use more than one method.
SOURCE: "34. Unemployed Jobseekers by Sex, Reason for Unemployment, and Active Jobsearch Methods Used," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat34.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)
#x00A0;#x00A0;Total, 16 years and over 7,591 6,657 60.6 55.4 14.8 17.7 18.3 6.7 11.1 1.85
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs* 3,667 2,734 63.1 54.2 17.6 20.1 23.2 9.0 12.9 2.01
Job leavers 872 872 62.9 56.6 16.6 16.6 19.4 6.9 10.9 1.90
Reentrants 2,386 2,386 57.8 55.9 12.8 15.9 14.7 5.0 10.7 1.73
New entrants 666 666 57.4 56.2 8.5 15.3 10.2 3.0 6.0 1.57
Men, 16 years and over 4,059 3,467 61.4 53.2 14.7 19.4 18.4 6.8 11.6 1.86
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs* 2,188 1,596 63.8 51.5 17.5 21.9 22.1 8.9 13.5 2.00
Job leavers 445 445 65.0 54.8 16.6 17.8 19.5 6.7 11.2 1.92
Reentrants 1,067 1,067 58.5 53.9 11.8 17.1 14.6 4.9 11.0 1.73
New entrants 359 359 55.2 56.8 8.3 16.7 11.2 2.7 5.5 1.57
Women, 16 years and over 3,531 3,190 59.8 57.7 15.0 15.8 18.3 6.6 10.6 1.84
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs* 1,479 1,138 62.2 58.1 17.9 17.6 24.6 9.0 11.9 2.02
Job leavers 427 427 60.6 58.5 16.5 15.4 19.2 7.2 10.7 1.89
Reentrants 1,319 1,319 57.3 57.6 13.5 14.9 14.8 5.2 10.4 1.74
New entrants 306 306 60.0 55.5 8.7 13.6 9.0 3.2 6.5 1.57

TABLE 3.11 Persons not in the labor force by desire and availability for work, age, and sex, 2004–05 "35. Persons Not in the Labor Force by Desire and Availability for Work, Age, and Sex," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat35.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)

TABLE 3.11
Persons not in the labor force by desire and availability for work, age, and sex, 2004–05
[In thousands]
Category Age Sex
Total 16 to 24 years 25 to 54 years 55 years and over Men Women
2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005 2004 2005
aIncludes some persons who are not asked if they want a job.
b>Persons who had a job in the prior 12 months must have searched since the end of that job.
cIncludes believes no work available, could not find work, lacks necessary schooling or training, employer thinks too young or old, and other types of discrimination.
dIncludes those who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for such reasons as child care and transportation problems, as well as a small number for which reason for nonparticipation was not ascertained.
SOURCE: "35. Persons Not in the Labor Force by Desire and Availability for Work, Age, and Sex," in Employment and Earnings, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat35.pdf (accessed January 9, 2006)
  Total not in the labor force 75,956 76,762 14,151 14,383 21,288 21,403 40,517 40,976 28,730 29,119 47,225 47,643
Do not want a job nowa 71,103 71,777 12,422 12,585 19,136 19,238 39,545 39,954 26,565 26,926 44,538 44,851
Want a joba 4,852 4,985 1,729 1,798 2,152 2,165 971 1,022 2,165 2,193 2,687 2,792
   Did not search for work in previous year 2,715 2,841 886 963 1,145 1,163 684 715 1,126 1,173 1,590 1,668
   Searched for work in previous yearb 2,137 2,144 843 836 1,006 1,002 288 307 1,040 1,020 1,097 1,124
      Not available to work now 563 599 279 285 242 260 42 54 230 231 333 368
      Available to work now 1,574 1,545 565 551 764 742 245 252 809 789 765 756
          Reason not currently looking:
            Discouragement over job prospectsc 466 436 142 141 240 217 84 78 288 260 178 176
            Reasons other than discouragement 1,108 1,109 423 410 524 525 161 175 521 529 587 580
              Family responsibilities 157 159 28 32 104 105 24 22 38 36 119 123
              In school or training 244 217 199 179 43 35 2 2 131 118 112 99
              III health or disability 123 119 18 16 71 69 35 34 56 64 67 55
              Otherd 584 614 178 182 306 316 100 116 296 311 288 302
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