Summer Youth Labor Force News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, August 24, 2011                     USDL-11-1246

Technical information: (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


              EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH -- SUMMER 2011


From April to July 2011, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old rose by 1.7
million to 18.6 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This year,
the share of young people who were employed in July was 48.8 percent, the lowest July
rate on record for the series, which began in 1948. (The month of July typically is
the summertime peak in youth employment.) Unemployment among youth increased by 745,000
between April and July, more than last year’s increase of 571,000, but well below the
levels seen in 2008 and 2009 (1.2 and 1.1 million, respectively). (Because this analysis
focuses on the seasonal changes in youth employment and unemployment that occur each
spring and summer, the data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Labor force

The youth labor force--16- to 24-year-olds working or actively looking for work--grows
sharply between April and July each year. During these months, large numbers of high
school and college students search for or take summer jobs, and many graduates enter
the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment. This summer, the youth
labor force grew by 2.4 million, or 11.8 percent, to a total of 22.7 million in July.
(See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth--the proportion of the population 16
to 24 years old working or looking for work--was 59.5 percent in July, the lowest July
rate on record. The July 2011 rate was down by 1.0 percentage point from July 2010 and
was 18.0 percentage points below the peak for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent).

The July 2011 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men, at 61.4 percent,
fell by 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier. The rate for women, at 57.6 percent,
edged down over the year. For several decades prior to 1989, the July labor force
participation rate for young men showed no clear trend, ranging from 81 to 86 percent.
Since July 1989, however, their participation rate for the month declined, falling by
about 21 percentage points. The July labor force participation rate for young women 
peaked in 1989 at 72.4 percent, following a long-term upward trend; their rate has
since fallen by about 15 percentage points.

The July 2011 labor force participation rate for Hispanic youth was 53.6 percent, down
by 2.5 percentage points over the year. The rate for whites decreased by 1.0 percentage
point to 62.2 percent. The participation rate for young blacks, at 50.2 percent, was
down slightly, while the rate for Asian youth (47.9 percent) was little different from
last year. (See table 2.)

Employment

In July 2011, 18.6 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed, about the same as last
year. This summer's increase in youth employment--from April to July--was 1.7 million,
down slightly from last summer (1.8 million). The employment-population ratio for
youth--the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population
that was employed--was 48.8 percent in July, a record low for the series, though only
marginally lower than in July 2010. (See table 2.)

In July 2011, the employment-population ratios were little changed from a year earlier
for all major demographic groups--young men (50.2 percent), women (47.3 percent),
whites (52.3 percent), blacks (34.6 percent), Asians (40.5 percent), and Hispanics
(42.9 percent).

Twenty-six percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality sector (which
includes food services), about the same as in July 2010. Another 21 percent were employed
in the retail trade industry, also about the same proportion as last year. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

The number of unemployed youth in July 2011 was 4.1 million, down from 4.4 million a
year ago. The youth unemployment rate declined by 1.0 percentage point over the year to
18.1 percent in July 2011, after hitting a record high for July in 2010. Among major
demographic groups, unemployment rates were lower than a year earlier for young men
(18.3 percent) and Asians (15.3 percent), while jobless rates were little changed for
young women (17.8 percent), whites (15.9 percent), blacks (31.0 percent), and Hispanics
(20.1 percent). (See table 2.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population
Survey (CPS), a national sample survey of 60,000 households conducted month-
ly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 
data in this release relate to the employment status of youth (16- to 24-year-
olds) during the months of April-July. This period was selected as being the 
most representative time frame in which to measure the full summertime transition
from school to work. July is the peak summer month of youth employment.

   Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls
used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available
on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired
individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Ser-
vice: (800) 877-8339.

Reliability

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling
error. When a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there 
is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the "true" population 
values they represent. The exact difference, or sampling error, varies de-
pending upon the particular sample selected, and this variability is measured 
by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent chance, 
or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no 
more than 1.6 standard errors from the "true" population value because of 
sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level 
of confidence.

   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error
can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of
the population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the
sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct infor-
mation, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data.

   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and infor-
mation on estimating standard errors is available on the BLS Web site at
www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

   The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly
below.

   Employed persons are all those who, during the survey reference
week, (which is generally the week including the 12th day of the month),
(a) did any work at all as paid employees; (b) worked in their own business,
profession, or on their own farm; (c) worked 15 hours or more as unpaid
workers in a family-operated enterprise; or (d) were temporarily absent from
their jobs because of illness, vacation, labor dispute, or another reason.

   Unemployed persons are all persons who had no employment during the ref-
erence week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and
had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4 weeks
preceding the survey. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job
from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to 
be classified as unemployed.

   Civilian labor force comprises all persons classified as employed or
unemployed.

   Unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed persons as a
percent of the civilian labor force.

   Not in the labor force includes all persons who are not classified as
employed or unemployed.

   Industry and class of worker for the employed relate to the job held in
the survey reference week. Persons with two or more jobs are classified in
the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours. Persons are classified
using the 2007 Census industry classification system. The class-of-worker break-
down assigns workers to the following categories: Private and government wage
and salary workers, self-employed workers, and unpaid family workers. Wage and 
salary workers receive wages, salary, commissions, tips, or pay in kind from a 
private employer or from a government unit. Self-employed persons are those who
work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, trade, or farm. Unpaid
family workers are persons working without pay for 15 hours a week or more on a
farm or business operated by a family member in their household.




Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 to 24 years of age by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, April-July 2011
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
April May June July April-July changes
Number Percent

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

38,191 38,192 38,194 38,196 5 0.0

Civilian labor force

20,335 20,673 22,428 22,742 2,407 11.8

Participation rate

53.2 54.1 58.7 59.5 6.3 11.8

Employed

16,970 17,045 18,180 18,632 1,662 9.8

Employment-population ratio

44.4 44.6 47.6 48.8 4.4 9.9

Unemployed

3,365 3,628 4,248 4,110 745 22.1

Looking for full-time work

2,417 2,675 3,184 3,238 821 34.0

Looking for part-time work

948 953 1,064 872 -76 -8.0

Unemployment rate

16.5 17.5 18.9 18.1 1.6 9.7

Not in labor force

17,856 17,518 15,765 15,454 -2,402 -13.5

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,421 19,422 19,423 19,425 4 0.0

Civilian labor force

10,540 10,815 11,795 11,930 1,390 13.2

Participation rate

54.3 55.7 60.7 61.4 7.1 13.1

Employed

8,590 8,778 9,471 9,746 1,156 13.5

Employment-population ratio

44.2 45.2 48.8 50.2 6.0 13.6

Unemployed

1,950 2,037 2,324 2,184 234 12.0

Looking for full-time work

1,475 1,596 1,791 1,809 334 22.6

Looking for part-time work

476 441 532 375 -101 -21.2

Unemployment rate

18.5 18.8 19.7 18.3 -0.2 -1.1

Not in labor force

8,881 8,607 7,628 7,494 -1,387 -15.6

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,770 18,770 18,771 18,772 2 0.0

Civilian labor force

9,795 9,859 10,633 10,812 1,017 10.4

Participation rate

52.2 52.5 56.6 57.6 5.4 10.3

Employed

8,381 8,268 8,709 8,886 505 6.0

Employment-population ratio

44.6 44.0 46.4 47.3 2.7 6.1

Unemployed

1,414 1,591 1,925 1,926 512 36.2

Looking for full-time work

942 1,079 1,392 1,428 486 51.6

Looking for part-time work

472 512 532 497 25 5.3

Unemployment rate

14.4 16.1 18.1 17.8 3.4 23.6

Not in labor force

8,975 8,911 8,137 7,960 -1,015 -11.3

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

29,385 29,381 29,379 29,377 -8 0.0

Civilian labor force

16,296 16,635 18,041 18,266 1,970 12.1

Participation rate

55.5 56.6 61.4 62.2 6.7 12.1

Employed

13,895 14,077 15,027 15,367 1,472 10.6

Employment-population ratio

47.3 47.9 51.2 52.3 5.0 10.6

Unemployed

2,401 2,558 3,013 2,899 498 20.7

Looking for full-time work

1,684 1,862 2,220 2,203 519 30.8

Looking for part-time work

717 696 793 696 -21 -2.9

Unemployment rate

14.7 15.4 16.7 15.9 1.2 8.2

Not in labor force

13,089 12,746 11,338 11,111 -1,978 -15.1

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,760 5,761 5,762 5,763 3 0.1

Civilian labor force

2,714 2,669 2,918 2,893 179 6.6

Participation rate

47.1 46.3 50.6 50.2 3.1 6.6

Employed

1,959 1,881 2,002 1,996 37 1.9

Employment-population ratio

34.0 32.6 34.7 34.6 0.6 1.8

Unemployed

755 788 916 897 142 18.8

Looking for full-time work

593 633 759 778 185 31.2

Looking for part-time work

161 156 157 118 -43 -26.7

Unemployment rate

27.8 29.5 31.4 31.0 3.2 11.5

Not in labor force

3,047 3,092 2,844 2,870 -177 -5.8

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,610 1,577 1,579 1,573 -37 -2.3

Civilian labor force

665 649 693 753 88 13.2

Participation rate

41.3 41.1 43.9 47.9 6.6 16.0

Employed

590 530 583 638 48 8.1

Employment-population ratio

36.7 33.6 36.9 40.5 3.8 10.4

Unemployed

75 119 110 115 40 53.3

Looking for full-time work

47 80 75 97 50 106.4

Looking for part-time work

28 39 35 18 -10 -35.7

Unemployment rate

11.3 18.3 15.9 15.3 4.0 35.4

Not in labor force

944 928 885 820 -124 -13.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

7,559 7,575 7,590 7,605 46 0.6

Civilian labor force

3,825 3,904 4,073 4,080 255 6.7

Participation rate

50.6 51.5 53.7 53.6 3.0 5.9

Employed

3,132 3,154 3,219 3,260 128 4.1

Employment-population ratio

41.4 41.6 42.4 42.9 1.5 3.6

Unemployed

693 750 854 820 127 18.3

Looking for full-time work

529 575 638 646 117 22.1

Looking for part-time work

163 175 216 174 11 6.7

Unemployment rate

18.1 19.2 21.0 20.1 2.0 11.0

Not in labor force

3,734 3,670 3,517 3,525 -209 -5.6

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 2. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 to 24 years of age by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, July 2008-2011
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
2008 2009 2010 2011

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

37,506 37,586 37,944 38,196

Civilian labor force

24,429 23,691 22,938 22,742

Participation rate

65.1 63.0 60.5 59.5

Employed

21,021 19,304 18,564 18,632

Employment-population ratio

56.0 51.4 48.9 48.8

Unemployed

3,408 4,387 4,374 4,110

Looking for full-time work

2,552 3,430 3,374 3,238

Looking for part-time work

856 957 1,000 872

Unemployment rate

14.0 18.5 19.1 18.1

Not in labor force

13,076 13,895 15,006 15,454

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,919 18,935 19,126 19,425

Civilian labor force

12,882 12,298 11,997 11,930

Participation rate

68.1 64.9 62.7 61.4

Employed

10,946 9,880 9,537 9,746

Employment-population ratio

57.9 52.2 49.9 50.2

Unemployed

1,935 2,418 2,460 2,184

Looking for full-time work

1,483 1,973 1,949 1,809

Looking for part-time work

453 444 510 375

Unemployment rate

15.0 19.7 20.5 18.3

Not in labor force

6,037 6,637 7,129 7,494

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,587 18,650 18,819 18,772

Civilian labor force

11,547 11,393 10,942 10,812

Participation rate

62.1 61.1 58.1 57.6

Employed

10,075 9,424 9,027 8,886

Employment-population ratio

54.2 50.5 48.0 47.3

Unemployed

1,473 1,969 1,914 1,926

Looking for full-time work

1,070 1,456 1,425 1,428

Looking for part-time work

403 513 489 497

Unemployment rate

12.8 17.3 17.5 17.8

Not in labor force

7,039 7,257 7,877 7,960

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

29,012 29,010 29,164 29,377

Civilian labor force

19,760 19,147 18,441 18,266

Participation rate

68.1 66.0 63.2 62.2

Employed

17,323 16,000 15,455 15,367

Employment-population ratio

59.7 55.2 53.0 52.3

Unemployed

2,437 3,147 2,987 2,899

Looking for full-time work

1,759 2,403 2,253 2,203

Looking for part-time work

678 744 733 696

Unemployment rate

12.3 16.4 16.2 15.9

Not in labor force

9,252 9,863 10,722 11,111

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,595 5,662 5,756 5,763

Civilian labor force

3,062 2,995 2,972 2,893

Participation rate

54.7 52.9 51.6 50.2

Employed

2,302 2,060 1,980 1,996

Employment-population ratio

41.2 36.4 34.4 34.6

Unemployed

760 935 992 897

Looking for full-time work

647 772 843 778

Looking for part-time work

112 163 149 118

Unemployment rate

24.8 31.2 33.4 31.0

Not in labor force

2,533 2,667 2,783 2,870

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,516 1,500 1,576 1,573

Civilian labor force

767 740 762 753

Participation rate

50.6 49.3 48.3 47.9

Employed

703 619 597 638

Employment-population ratio

46.4 41.3 37.9 40.5

Unemployed

64 121 165 115

Looking for full-time work

38 96 122 97

Looking for part-time work

26 24 42 18

Unemployment rate

8.4 16.3 21.6 15.3

Not in labor force

748 760 814 820

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

6,669 6,752 7,128 7,605

Civilian labor force

4,007 4,014 3,995 4,080

Participation rate

60.1 59.4 56.1 53.6

Employed

3,367 3,143 3,111 3,260

Employment-population ratio

50.5 46.5 43.6 42.9

Unemployed

639 871 884 820

Looking for full-time work

487 693 703 646

Looking for part-time work

153 178 181 174

Unemployment rate

16.0 21.7 22.1 20.1

Not in labor force

2,662 2,738 3,133 3,525

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 3. Employed persons 16 to 24 years of age by industry, class of worker, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, July 2010-2011
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Industry and class of worker Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011

Total employed

18,564 18,632 15,455 15,367 1,980 1,996 597 638 3,111 3,260

Agriculture and related industries

372 382 358 369 10 4 0 0 97 121

Nonagricultural industries

18,192 18,251 15,097 14,998 1,970 1,992 597 638 3,015 3,139

Private wage and salary workers

16,311 16,472 13,528 13,575 1,782 1,773 525 589 2,709 2,899

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

63 76 63 63 0 0 0 5 12 18

Construction

819 744 770 684 33 29 0 1 257 265

Manufacturing

1,015 1,106 849 896 91 116 51 58 213 192

Durable goods

598 688 507 590 44 49 27 35 113 99

Nondurable goods

417 418 342 306 47 67 23 24 100 93

Wholesale trade

297 342 249 278 29 47 7 14 54 112

Retail trade

3,659 3,869 2,959 3,104 473 502 126 153 495 662

Transportation and utilities

355 360 301 284 44 66 6 4 63 75

Information

361 329 254 271 59 22 34 21 66 47

Financial activities

794 716 686 595 42 66 48 36 117 117

Professional and business services

1,395 1,326 1,130 1,071 166 141 48 69 282 262

Education and health services

2,169 1,936 1,692 1,520 337 285 79 75 253 246

Leisure and hospitality

4,595 4,770 3,879 4,016 449 456 106 127 759 763

Other services

789 898 697 795 58 42 21 27 138 138

Government wage and salary workers

1,433 1,382 1,172 1,072 160 190 57 43 224 170

Federal

221 190 158 134 50 35 4 3 25 11

State

443 452 373 348 36 61 21 18 63 62

Local

769 739 642 590 74 95 32 22 136 97

Self-employed and unpaid family workers

447 397 397 350 28 29 15 5 82 70

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Last Modified Date: August 24, 2011