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August 2020 Employment Data Digest




-     U.S. total employment increased by 1.4 million jobs in August, a slower rate of increase than in July.

-     The unemployment rate decreased from 10.2 percent in July to 8.4 percent in August. The unemployment rate for people ages 55+ decreased from 8.8 percent to 7.7 percent.

-     The percentage of long-term unemployed jobseekers increased to 11.3 percent for those ages 16 to 54 and to 14 percent for those ages 55 and older.

OVERALL U.S. WORKFORCE: +1.4 million jobs added in August

Unemployment rate: 8.4 percent ↓

Number of unemployed persons: 13.6 million ↓

Labor force participation rate: 61.7 percent ↑

Long-term unemployed ages 16–54: 11.3 percent ↑

55 AND OLDER U.S. WORKFORCE: 35.3 million 55+ workers employed in August

55+ unemployment rate: 7.7 percent ↓

Number of 55+ unemployed persons: 2.9 million ↓

55+ labor force participation rate: 39.4 percent ↑

55+ long-term unemployed: 14.0 percent ↑

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Arrows denote directional change from the prior month.

About the PPI Monthly Employment Data Digest

The AARP Public Policy Institute’s (PPI) latest monthly digest of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the findings from the Employment Situation Report. It takes a closer look at employment data for people ages 55 and over, including labor force participation, employment rates, and duration of unemployment. 

For more analysis from PPI expert Jennifer Schramm on employment trends and older workers, see our blog