Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Release: Employment Situation
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
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment Level [UNEMPLOY], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/UNEMPLOY, February 24, 2024.