Are youths working more now than in the past?

October 05, 2001

Results from the National Longitudinal Surveys suggest that youth employment during the school year did not increase dramatically from 1979 to 1997.

Percent of school-enrolled 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds who worked during the week prior to the interview, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 and 1997
[Chart data—TXT]

In 1979, 25.2 percent of 15-year-olds who were enrolled in school worked for pay in the week prior to their survey interview. In 1997, this percentage was about the same: 25.8 percent.

For 16-year-olds, the percentage employed changed little from 1979 to 1997. In 1979, 36.4 percent of school-enrolled 16-year-olds were employed in the week prior to their survey interview—this compared with 38.4 percent in 1997.

Data on the employment experience and other characteristics of youths are a product of the National Longitudinal Surveys program. Additional information is available from "Youth employment during school: results from two longitudinal surveys," by Donna S. Rothstein, Monthly Labor Review, August 2001.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Are youths working more now than in the past? on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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