Historical Nonfarm Unemployment Statistics

An updated graph that Claudia Goldin had me make two and a half decades ago. The nonfarm unemployment rate since 1890. Then it was 1890-1990, now it is 1869-2015.

2016 04 05 Historical Nonfarm Unemployment Estimates numbers

Thanks to:

with spreadsheet at: http://tinyurl.com/dl20160405

The assumption behind focusing on this chart—which is very debateable—is that "unemployment" is not a farm thing: that in the rural south or in the midwest or on the prairie you can always find a place of some sort as a hired hand, and that "unemployment" is a town- and city-based nonfarm phenomenon.

I confess I do not understand how anyone can look at this series and think that calculating stable and unchanging autocorrelations and innovation variances is a reasonable first-cut thing to do.

#economichistory #unemployment #macro #labormarket