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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Unemployment Rates


In 2007, unemployment rates were lower for American Indians/Alaska Natives with higher levels of educational achievement.

Figure 7.2a. Unemployment rates for persons ages 16 and over, by race/ethnicity: 1997 through 2007
Unemployment rates for persons ages 16 and over, by race/ethnicity: 1997 through 2007
NOTE: The unemployment rate is the percentage of the total labor force population that is jobless, looking for a job, and available for work. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Demographic Supplement, 1997–2002, and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003–2007.

Figure 7.2b. Unemployment rates of persons 16 years old and over, by educational attainment and race/ethnicity: 2007
Unemployment rates of persons 16 years old and over, by educational attainment and
race/ethnicity: 2007
! Interpret data with caution.
# Rounds to zero.
1 Total includes other race/ethnicity categories not separately shown.
2 High school completion includes equivalency (e.g., General Education Development certificate or GED).
NOTE: Data are graphed using unrounded estimates while the value labels are rounded. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007.

People who have no job and are not looking for one, such as those going to school, those retired, or those who have a physical or mental disability that prevents them from participating in the labor force, are not included in the labor force. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the total labor force population that is jobless, looking for a job, and available for work. In 2007, some 5 percent of the labor force ages 16 and over was unemployed (appendix table A-7.2).

Between 1997 and 2007, the unemployment rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives fluctuated, but did not significantly increase or decrease overall. In 2007, some 12 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives ages 16 and over were unemployed (appendix table A-7.2). This estimate was higher than the percentages of Whites (4 percent), Hispanics (6 percent), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (3 percent) who were unemployed.

Generally, for all race/ethnicities, including American Indians/Alaska Natives, unemployment rates were lower for those with higher levels of educational attainment. Specifically, 2 percent of American Indians/ Alaska Natives with a bachelor's degree or higher were unemployed, compared with 12 percent of high school completers and 29 percent of those who were not high school completers. The unemployment rate of American Indians/Alaska Natives who did not complete high school (29 percent) was higher than the rates of Whites (12 percent), Blacks (19 percent) and Hispanics (9 percent).

View Table View Table 7.2

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