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32 Ways Of Looking At Unemployment, In One Chart

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 9 percent in October, according to this morning's big jobs report. But this single number hides a huge variation among different groups.

For high school grads in their early 20s, for example, the unemployment rate is about 18 percent. For college grads in their 30s and 40s, the rate is under 5 percent.

The chart below allows you to explore these differences in detail. You can see how the unemployment rate has changed over time for people of all ages and all levels of educational attainment.

While the rate varies from group to group, the same trend holds constant for almost everyone: Unemployment shot way up in 2008 and 2009 and is still far higher than it was before the recession.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jess Jiang is the producer for NPR's international podcast, Rough Translation. Previously, Jess was a producer for Planet Money. In 2014, she won an Emmy for the team's T-shirt project. She followed the start of the t-shirt's journey, from cotton farms in Mississippi to factories in Indonesia. But her biggest prize has been getting to drive a forklift, back hoe, and a 35-ton digger for a story. Jess got her start in public radio at Studio 360—though, if you search hard enough, you can uncover a podcast she made back in college.
Jacob Goldstein is an NPR correspondent and co-host of the Planet Money podcast. He is the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing.