U.S. unemployment rate 1971-2015, by income tier

This statistic shows the U.S. unemployment rate from 1971 to 2015, by income tier. In 2015, about 4 percent of U.S. adult residents that were part of the middle class, were unemployed.
This study defined middle class income households as those with an income between 67 and 200 percent of the U.S. median household income, after adjustment for household size. Middle class income ranges from about 42,000 U.S. dollars to about 126,000 U.S. dollars per year for a three-person household.

Unemployment rate in the United States from 1971 to 2015, by income tier

Lower income classMiddle income classUpper income class
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Release date

December 2015


United States

Survey time period

1971 to 2015

Age group

18 years and older

Supplementary notes

Income Thresholds:
Lower income class: Less than 41,868 U.S. dollars
Middle income class: 41,869 - 125,608 U.S. dollars
Upper income class: More than 125,609 U.S. dollars.
The income refers to annual household income for a three-person household.

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