- Annual unemployment rate: 3.7%
Unemployment reached its lowest rate since 1969, but wages slipped in September for the first time in nearly two years. Despite that, workers were showing confidence in the job market as well, with the level of people leaving jobs reaching its highest mark in 17 years. Trade wars between the U.S. and China prevented the unemployment rate from going even lower, as it cost roughly 300,000 jobs.
[Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the White House Dec. 6, 2019, in Washington D.C., 2019.]
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- Unemployment rate (May 2020): 13.2%
The impacts of COVID-19 roiled employment numbers for several months in 2020, with numbers jumping from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April. Unemployment rates came down slightly in May to 13.3%, according to the numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
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