Changes in the unemployment rate make monthly headlines. Look back to Figure 20-3 on page 419 to refresh your memory about the long-term trend. You can also look forward to Figure 32-11 on page 699 to compare the unemployment rate with the Nauru behind the numbers Statistics on unemployment and the labor force are among the most carefully designed and comprehensive economic data the nation collects. The data are gathered monthly in a procedure known as random sampling of the population.” ‘Each month about 50,000 households are interviewed about their recent work history. The survey divides the population of those 16 years and older into four groups.