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Source: U.S. Department of Labor  

Release: Minimum Wage Rates  

Units:  Dollars per Hour, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Frequency:  Monthly


The federal minimum wage is the minimum hourly wage employers are required to pay employees who are eligible under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. The FLSA was generally only applicable to employees involved in interstate commerce, either directly or through the creation of goods. Many amendments have since been added to the FLSA, expanding its coverage and raising the minimum wage. Significant amendments occurred in 1961 and in 1966, when a separate minimum wage for farm workers was established. Starting in January of 1978 the minimum wages of all eligible workers, including farm workers, were made uniform. The values in the series for non-farm workers are those for the groups initially covered under the 1938 FLSA. Many states also have minimum wage laws. Some state laws provide greater employee protections; employers must comply with both.

For additional information go to: or

Suggested Citation:

U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Minimum Hourly Wage for Nonfarm Workers for the United States [FEDMINNFRWG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, December 5, 2022.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  

Release: Employment Situation  

Units:  Thousands of Persons, Seasonally Adjusted

Frequency:  Monthly


The series comes from the 'Current Population Survey (Household Survey)'
The source code is: LNS13000000

The Unemployment Level is the aggregate measure of people currently unemployed in the US. Someone in the labor force is defined as unemployed if they were not employed during the survey reference week, were available for work, and made at least one active effort to find a job during the 4-week survey period.

The Unemployment Level is collected in the CPS and published by the BLS. It is provided on a monthly basis, so this data is used in part by macroeconomists as an initial economic indicator of current trends. The Unemployment Level helps government agencies, financial markets, and researchers gauge the overall health of the economy.

Note that individuals that are not employed but not actively looking for a job are not counted as unemployed. For instance, declines in the Unemployment Level may either reflect movements of unemployed individuals into the labor force because they found a job, or movements of unemployed individuals out of the labor force because they stopped looking to find a job.

For more information, see:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES Overview
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS Handbook of Methods: Chapter 2. Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Establishment Survey

Suggested Citation:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment Level [UNEMPLOY], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, December 5, 2022.

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