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Native American Labor Market Dashboard

A data tool to illuminate current labor market conditions for Native people

Three of the most commonly used labor market metrics are the labor force participation rate, the employment-to-population ratio, and the unemployment rate. The dashboard below provides these three metrics for the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population. In doing so, it fills a gap in the published estimates that are available from the federal statistical agencies. Together, the metrics in the dashboard provide a timely assessment of how AI/AN workers are faring, which may differ substantially from the conditions of workers overall.

About the Dashboard

The data

This dashboard is based on publicly available Current Population Survey (CPS) microdata from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved from the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS-CPS. Data are not seasonally adjusted.

The sample sizes available in the CPS for the AI/AN population are small in any given month; consequently, the dashboard shows either annual averages or a lagging three-month moving average of monthly estimates. For example, the unemployment rate estimate shown for March 2021 is the arithmetic average of estimated unemployment rates for January, February, and March 2021. This reduces month-to-month sampling volatility.

All data are restricted to people ages 16 and older. Any individuals who report being AI/AN are included, whether that is reported alone or in combination with other races and ethnicities.

Labor market metrics
  • The labor force participation rate is the labor force divided by the population.
  • The employment-to-population ratio is the number of employed workers divided by the population.
  • The unemployment rate is the number of non-employed people who are available and looking for work—or who expect recall to a previous job—divided by the number of people in the labor force (that is, the sum of employed and unemployed workers).
Dashboard comparisons

Drop-down menus at the top of the dashboard allow for two specific comparisons. First, estimates for AI/AN individuals may be compared with those for the entire U.S. population. Second, estimates for people residing in metro and non-metro areas may be compared.