Definition: A carefully-watched economic indicator representing the percent of the labor force that's actively seeking employment.
TeenAnalyst Advice: The unemployment rate is a sign of how the economy has been doing. But it's a lagging indicator, meaning it only confirms what's been going on. It can't predict the future.
Historically, the unemployment rate has varied between 2-10%. Its historical average is around 5% (which is called "full employment").