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So, Who’s Working – US Employment Data in 2019

Intriguing observations emerge from an examination of US employment data for wage and salaried workers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A short quiz will reveal the reader’s knowledge of data and might yield surprising results:


  1. Six times as many people are employed by private sector companies as are employed in government jobs - True or False

  2. More men over the age of 20 are employed full time than women – True or False

  3. The unemployment rate for persons over 16 years of age with a high school education fell from January 2018 to January 2019 – True or False

  4. The unemployment rate for those over 16 years of age holding a full 4-year degree increased between January 2018 and January 2019 – True or False

  5. From January 2018 to January 2019, the number of employed women over 20 years old increased by a greater percentage than the increase for males over 20 years of age – True or False

  6. As of January 2019, the unemployment rate for foreign-born men over 16 years of age is lower than that of native-born men over 16 years of age – True or False

  7. The unemployment rate for foreign-born persons over 16 years old rose while the unemployment rate for native-born persons over 16 years old fell from January 2018 to January 2019 – True or False





Answers, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics tables comparing January 2018 with January 2019 numbers, are:


  1. True – Employment in the United States is driven by the economic health and vitality of the private sector as this group employed almost 125 million people in January 2019.

  2. True – In January 2019, over 80 million men over 20 years old were employed, while 71 million women over the age of 20 were employed.

  3. True – The unemployment rate for persons over 16 years of age with a high school education fell by 0.6% from 4.4% to 3.8% from January 2018 to January 2019.

  4. True – Persons over 16 years of age with a full 4-year degree experienced an increased unemployment rate from 2.2% to 2.4 %. From January 2018 to January 2019.

  5. True – The number of employed women over 20 years old increased by 2.0% in January 2019 over the level in January 2018 versus an increase of 1.0% for men in that category.

  6. True – For January 2019, foreign-born men over 16 years old experienced an unemployment rate of 4.5% while native-born men in this category registered an unemployment rate of 4.8%, a relationship consistent with that observed in January 2018.

  7. False – Overall, for both native and foreign-born workers (including men and women), the unemployment rate fell between January 2018 an January 2019.

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