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The unemployment rate the year you turned 16

  • 2019

    - 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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  • 2020

    - Unemployment rate (September 2020): 7.9%

    The impacts of COVID-19 roiled employment numbers in 2020, with the unemployment rate jumping from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April. Those numbers improved in subsequent months, but the most recent report of September's unemployment rate shows the economy remains sluggish and the improving rates of unemployment may be losing momentum. 

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