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).
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