State of the Nation

*Any statements in this issue of the Watch which are not sourced are mine and identified by “WW”.

64% of registered voters say the country is on the wrong track, that includes 65% of men and 64% of women.

22% of registered voters say the country is headed in the right direction. This includes 23% of men and 21% of women. [YouGov 11/10/20]

Los Angeles County has more people in it than the 11 smallest states combined.

Alcohol consumption is up by 14% (17% for women) compared with a year ago. [NYT 11/1/20]


The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2020 is 6.9%. That unemployment rate is lower than the 10.2% rate in July, 8.4% in August, 7.9% in September and greater than the 3.6% unemployment rate of a year ago.

If one considers the total number of unemployed + those marginally attached to the labor force + those working part-time who want full-time work, the unemployment rate is 12.1%, down from 16.5% in July, 14.2% in August, 12.8% in September and up from 6.9% a year ago.

638,000 jobs were created in October and 661,000 jobs were created in September.

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for October is 61.7%, down from 63.3% in 2019. [BLS 10/20]

The Demographics of Unemployment for October 2020

Unemployment by Gender (20 years and older)

  • Women –5.6% (down from last month)
  • Men –5.8% (down from last month)

Unemployment by Race

  • White – 6.0% (down from last month)
  • Black –10.8% (down from last month)
  • Hispanic – 8.8% (down from last month)
  • Asian –7.6% (down from last month)

Unemployment by Education (25 years & over)

  • Less than high school –9.8% (down from last month)
  • High School –8.1% (down from as last month)
  • Some college – 6.5% (down from last month)
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher – 4.2% (down from last month)

In September, 26 states had unemployment rates below the national average of 6.9%; 24 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates that were above the national average.

In September, Hawaii at 15.5%, had the highest unemployment rate in the country. Nebraska at 3.5%, had the lowest unemployment rate in the country. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]