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February 2023 Employment Data Digest

Feb 2023 Employment Digest

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February 2023 Employment Data Digest

  • The U.S. economy added 311,000 jobs in February, a slowdown in pace from the 504,000 jobs added in January.
  • The overall unemployment rate rose from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent.
  • The 55+ unemployment rate increased from 2.3 to 2.5 percent. For men ages 55+, it increased slightly from 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent. The unemployment rate for women ages 55+ increased from 2.2 to 2.7 percent.
  • The percentage of jobseekers ages 55+ who were long-term unemployed in February was 20.4 percent. It was 16.9 percent for jobseekers ages 16 to 54. 
  • The total labor force participation rate increased slightly from 62.4 percent to 62.5 percent. For those ages 55+, it decreased, from 38.7 percent in January to 38.4 percent in February. The (unadjusted) rate for those ages 65+ was unchanged at 19.1 percent.


  • 311,000 jobs added in February ↓
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent ↑
  • Number of unemployed persons: 5.9 million ↑
  • Labor force participation rate: 62.5 percent ↑
  • Long-term unemployed ages 16–54: 16.9 percent ↑


  • 37.1 million 55+ workers employed in February ↓
  • 55+ unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
  • Number of 55+ unemployed persons: 957,000 ↑
  • 55+ labor force participation rate: 38.4 percent ↓
  • 55+ long-term unemployed: 20.4 percent ↓

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Arrows denote a 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

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