Employment and Unemployment Among Youth Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, August 17, 2016                      USDL-16-1687

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                        EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH -- SUMMER 2016


From April to July 2016, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by
1.9 million to 20.5 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This
year, 53.2 percent of young people were employed in July, little changed from a year
earlier. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.)
Unemployment among youth rose by 611,000 from April to July 2016, compared with an
increase of 654,000 for the same period in 2015. (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 2.6 million, or 12.4 percent, to a total of 23.1 million in July.
(See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth was 60.1 percent in July, little
changed from a year earlier.  (The labor force participation rate is the proportion
of the civilian noninstitutional population that is working or looking and available
for work.) (See table 2.) The summer labor force participation rate of youth has held
fairly steady since July 2010, after trending downward for the prior two decades. The
summer youth labor force participation rate peaked at 77.5 percent in July 1989.

The July 2016 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 62.4
percent, higher than the rate for young women at 57.7 percent. The rates for men and
women were little changed from last July. Whites had the highest youth labor force
participation rate in July 2016 at 62.7 percent. The rate was 53.8 percent for Blacks,
43.1 percent for Asians, and 56.2 percent for Hispanics. The rate for Blacks declined
by 2.6 percentage points from last July, while the rates for Whites, Asians, and
Hispanics showed little or no change.

Employment

In July 2016, there were 20.5 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds, little changed
from the summer before. Between April and July 2016, the number of employed youth
rose by 1.9 million. The employment-population ratio for youth in July 2016--the
proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population with a
job--was 53.2 percent, little changed from the year before. (See tables 1 and 2.)

The July 2016 employment-population ratios for young men (54.9 percent), women (51.5
percent), Whites (56.5 percent), Blacks (42.7 percent), Asians (38.8 percent), and
Hispanics (49.8 percent) showed little or no change from last July.

In July 2016, the largest percentage of employed youth worked in the leisure and
hospitality industry (25 percent), which includes food services. An additional 18
percent of employed youth worked in the retail trade industry, and 13 percent worked
in education and health services. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

The youth unemployment rate (11.5 percent) and the number of unemployed youth (2.6
million) in July 2016 were little changed from a year earlier. Of those 2.6 million
unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds, 1.9 million were looking for full-time work in July
2016, down 222,000 from July 2015. (See tables 1 and 2.)

The July 2016 unemployment rates for young men (12.0 percent), women (10.8 percent),
Whites (9.9 percent), Blacks (20.6 percent), Asians (10.0 percent), and Hispanics
(11.3 percent) also showed little or no change from last July. (See table 2.)



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Last Modified Date: August 17, 2016