Youth labor force participation rate in July 2013 same as a year earlier

August 23, 2013

The youth labor force 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 labor force participation rate for all youth—the proportion of the population 16 to 24 years old working or looking for work—was 60.5 percent in July, the same as a year earlier.

Labor force participation rates of 16- to 24-year-olds in July, not seasonally adjusted, 1983–2013
YearBoth sexesMenWomen

1983

75.683.068.4

1984

76.382.570.3

1985

76.582.870.3

1986

76.782.970.6

1987

76.381.471.3

1988

76.982.571.4

1989

77.582.872.4

1990

75.180.869.5

1991

73.679.667.6

1992

74.679.869.5

1993

74.579.569.5

1994

74.178.869.4

1995

74.379.369.3

1996

73.378.368.3

1997

73.076.569.4

1998

72.876.369.3

1999

72.676.069.1

2000

71.675.268.1

2001

70.774.167.2

2002

69.572.366.6

2003

67.370.064.5

2004

67.270.463.9

2005

66.669.663.6

2006

66.769.763.6

2007

65.067.962.1

2008

65.168.162.1

2009

63.064.961.1

2010

60.562.758.1

2011

59.561.457.6

2012

60.563.257.8

2013

60.562.758.2

The July 2013 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 62.7 percent, and the rate for young women was 58.2 percent; both rates were about the same as a year earlier.

Taking a longer-term perspective, the July 2013 participation rate for all 16- to 24-year-olds was 17 percentage points below the peak rate for that month in 1989.

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 1989, however, their July participation rate has declined, falling by about 20 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 14 percentage points.

The youth labor force participation rate was highest for Whites, at 63.1 percent in July 2013. The rates were 53.8 percent for Blacks, 46.1 percent for Asians, and 57.8 percent for Hispanics or Latinos. For all four groups, labor force participation rates were little different from a year earlier.

Labor force participation rates of 16- to 24-year-olds by race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not seasonally adjusted, July 2013
CharacteristicPercent

White

63.1

Black or African American

53.8

Asian

46.1

Hispanic or Latino

57.8

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Employment and Unemployment among Youth — Summer 2013" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL‑13‑1698. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Youth labor force participation rate in July 2013 same as a year earlier on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130823.htm (visited April 25, 2014).

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