Summer Youth Labor Force News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, August 16, 2019 		      	          USDL-19-1477

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 2019


From April to July 2019, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by
2.4 million to 21.2 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In
July 2019, 56.2 percent of young people were employed, up from 55.0 percent in July
2018. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) The
unemployment rate for youth was 9.1 percent in July, the lowest rate since July 1966,
and little changed from the prior year. (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 3.0 million, or 14.9 percent, to a total of 23.3 million in July.
(See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth was 61.8 percent in July, an increase
of 1.2 percentage points 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.) This year, the July labor force participation
rate was notably higher than the July rates for the prior 9 years. The summer youth
labor force participation rate peaked at 77.5 percent in July 1989. 

The July 2019 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men, at 63.2 percent,
was up 2.1 percentage points over the year. The rate for young women, at 60.4 percent,
changed little during the same period. Continuing a long-standing pattern, Whites had
the highest youth labor force participation rate in July 2019, at 64.1 percent. The
rate for Blacks was 58.3 percent, for Asians 44.6 percent, and for Hispanics 57.8 percent.
Over the year, the labor force participation rate rose for Whites (+1.3 percentage points),
Blacks (+1.8 points), and Asians (+1.3 points), but was little changed for Hispanics.

Employment

In July 2019, there were 21.2 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds. Between April and
July 2019, the number of employed youth rose by 2.4 million, or 12.8 percent. This was
somewhat larger than the increase between April and July 2018, when employment rose by
2.0 million, or 10.7 percent. The employment-population ratio for youth--the proportion
of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population with a job--was 56.2 percent
in July 2019, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from the prior year. (See tables 1 and
2.)

Employment-population ratios in July 2019 were higher than a year earlier for young men
(57.3 percent), Whites (58.9 percent), Blacks (49.8 percent), and Asians (41.0 percent).
The employment-population ratios for young women (55.1 percent) and Hispanics (51.3
percent) were little different from the prior summer.

In July 2019, the largest percentage of employed youth worked in the leisure and
hospitality industry (25 percent), which includes food services. An additional 17 percent
of employed youth worked in the retail trade industry, and 13 percent worked in education
and health services. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

Unemployment among youth rose by 615,000 from April to July 2019, similar to the increase
for the same period in 2018.

The youth unemployment rate, at 9.1 percent in July 2019, was little changed from July
2018. This represents the lowest summer youth unemployment rate since July 1966. The number
of unemployed youth was 2.1 million in July 2019, little different from a year earlier.
Of the 2.1 million unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds, 1.4 million were looking for full-time
work in July 2019, also little changed from July 2018. (See tables 1 and 2.)

The July 2019 unemployment rates for young men (9.4 percent), women (8.8 percent), Whites
(8.0 percent), Asians (8.2 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) were little changed
from the summer before. The rate for young Blacks (14.6 percent) declined over the year.
(See table 2.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS),
a national sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households conducted monthly 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
website 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 Service: (800) 877-8339.

Reliability of the estimates

   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 component
of this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling
error, and its 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 information, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.

   More information on the reliability of data from the CPS and estimating standard errors
is available online at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

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

   Employed. 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 member's business. Persons who
were temporarily absent from their jobs because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor
dispute, or another reason also are counted as employed.

   Unemployed. The unemployed are those who had no employment during the reference week,
were available for work at that time, and had made specific efforts to find employment
sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. 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. Looking for full-time work refers to 35 hours or more
per week; part-time work refers to fewer than 35 hours per week.

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

   Unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a
percent of the civilian labor force.

   Labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate is the labor force
as a percent of the population.

   Employment-population ratio. The employment-population ratio is the employed as a
percent of the population.

   Not in the labor force. Included in this group are all persons in the civilian
noninstitutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed.

   Industry and class of worker. This information applies to the job held during the
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 2012 Census
industry classification system. The class-of-worker breakdown assigns workers to the
following categories: Private and government wage and salary workers, unincorporated
self-employed workers, and unpaid family workers.

   Wage and salary workers. Included in this group are persons who receive wages, salary,
commissions, tips, or pay in kind from a private employer or from a government entity.

   Self-employed workers. Included in this group are those who work for profit or fees
in their own unincorporated business, profession, trade, or farm. Only unincorporated
self-employed are included in the self-employed category. Self-employed persons whose
businesses are incorporated are included with private wage and salary workers.

   Unpaid family workers. Included in this group are persons working without pay for
15 hours a week or more on a farm or in a 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 2019 [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

37,762 37,750 37,738 37,729 -33 -0.1

Civilian labor force

20,286 20,968 22,751 23,311 3,025 14.9

Participation rate

53.7 55.5 60.3 61.8 8.1 15.1

Employed

18,786 19,177 20,639 21,196 2,410 12.8

Employment-population ratio

49.7 50.8 54.7 56.2 6.5 13.1

Unemployed

1,500 1,792 2,111 2,115 615 41.0

Looking for full-time work

936 1,280 1,502 1,447 511 54.6

Looking for part-time work

564 511 609 668 104 18.4

Unemployment rate

7.4 8.5 9.3 9.1 1.7 23.0

Not in labor force

17,476 16,781 14,988 14,417 -3,059 -17.5

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,986 18,978 18,971 18,964 -22 -0.1

Civilian labor force

10,311 10,714 11,749 11,977 1,666 16.2

Participation rate

54.3 56.5 61.9 63.2 8.9 16.4

Employed

9,413 9,682 10,549 10,857 1,444 15.3

Employment-population ratio

49.6 51.0 55.6 57.3 7.7 15.5

Unemployed

899 1,032 1,200 1,120 221 24.6

Looking for full-time work

598 760 906 803 205 34.3

Looking for part-time work

301 272 295 317 16 5.3

Unemployment rate

8.7 9.6 10.2 9.4 0.7 8.0

Not in labor force

8,675 8,264 7,221 6,987 -1,688 -19.5

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,776 18,772 18,768 18,765 -11 -0.1

Civilian labor force

9,974 10,254 11,001 11,334 1,360 13.6

Participation rate

53.1 54.6 58.6 60.4 7.3 13.7

Employed

9,374 9,494 10,090 10,339 965 10.3

Employment-population ratio

49.9 50.6 53.8 55.1 5.2 10.4

Unemployed

601 760 911 995 394 65.6

Looking for full-time work

338 520 597 645 307 90.8

Looking for part-time work

263 240 314 350 87 33.1

Unemployment rate

6.0 7.4 8.3 8.8 2.8 46.7

Not in labor force

8,801 8,517 7,766 7,430 -1,371 -15.6

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

27,694 27,681 27,669 27,658 -36 -0.1

Civilian labor force

15,385 15,882 17,308 17,716 2,331 15.2

Participation rate

55.6 57.4 62.6 64.1 8.5 15.3

Employed

14,416 14,686 15,889 16,295 1,879 13.0

Employment-population ratio

52.1 53.1 57.4 58.9 6.8 13.1

Unemployed

969 1,196 1,419 1,421 452 46.6

Looking for full-time work

606 804 942 938 332 54.8

Looking for part-time work

363 392 478 483 120 33.1

Unemployment rate

6.3 7.5 8.2 8.0 1.7 27.0

Not in labor force

12,309 11,799 10,361 9,942 -2,367 -19.2

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,579 5,573 5,567 5,561 -18 -0.3

Civilian labor force

2,838 2,888 3,093 3,243 405 14.3

Participation rate

50.9 51.8 55.6 58.3 7.4 14.5

Employed

2,460 2,466 2,633 2,771 311 12.6

Employment-population ratio

44.1 44.3 47.3 49.8 5.7 12.9

Unemployed

377 422 460 472 95 25.2

Looking for full-time work

228 353 383 374 146 64.0

Looking for part-time work

149 69 78 98 -51 -34.2

Unemployment rate

13.3 14.6 14.9 14.6 1.3 9.8

Not in labor force

2,741 2,685 2,474 2,318 -423 -15.4

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

2,331 2,353 2,389 2,387 56 2.4

Civilian labor force

866 893 1,017 1,065 199 23.0

Participation rate

37.1 38.0 42.6 44.6 7.5 20.2

Employed

834 845 967 978 144 17.3

Employment-population ratio

35.8 35.9 40.5 41.0 5.2 14.5

Unemployed

31 48 50 87 56 180.6

Looking for full-time work

17 25 25 37 20 117.6

Looking for part-time work

15 23 25 50 35 233.3

Unemployment rate

3.6 5.4 4.9 8.2 4.6 127.8

Not in labor force

1,465 1,460 1,371 1,322 -143 -9.8

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,722 8,731 8,740 8,750 28 0.3

Civilian labor force

4,472 4,606 4,914 5,059 587 13.1

Participation rate

51.3 52.8 56.2 57.8 6.5 12.7

Employed

4,162 4,247 4,435 4,485 323 7.8

Employment-population ratio

47.7 48.6 50.7 51.3 3.6 7.5

Unemployed

310 358 479 574 264 85.2

Looking for full-time work

211 239 328 384 173 82.0

Looking for part-time work

99 119 151 190 91 91.9

Unemployment rate

6.9 7.8 9.7 11.3 4.4 63.8

Not in labor force

4,249 4,125 3,826 3,691 -558 -13.1

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 2016-2019 [Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2016
July
2017
July
2018
July
2019

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

38,450 38,152 37,997 37,729

Civilian labor force

23,104 23,107 23,016 23,311

Participation rate

60.1 60.6 60.6 61.8

Employed

20,456 20,890 20,897 21,196

Employment-population ratio

53.2 54.8 55.0 56.2

Unemployed

2,648 2,217 2,119 2,115

Looking for full-time work

1,912 1,607 1,458 1,447

Looking for part-time work

736 610 660 668

Unemployment rate

11.5 9.6 9.2 9.1

Not in labor force

15,346 15,045 14,981 14,417

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,380 19,219 19,128 18,964

Civilian labor force

12,094 11,983 11,695 11,977

Participation rate

62.4 62.3 61.1 63.2

Employed

10,638 10,773 10,550 10,857

Employment-population ratio

54.9 56.1 55.2 57.3

Unemployed

1,455 1,210 1,145 1,120

Looking for full-time work

1,169 944 828 803

Looking for part-time work

286 266 317 317

Unemployment rate

12.0 10.1 9.8 9.4

Not in labor force

7,287 7,236 7,433 6,987

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,069 18,932 18,869 18,765

Civilian labor force

11,010 11,124 11,321 11,334

Participation rate

57.7 58.8 60.0 60.4

Employed

9,818 10,117 10,347 10,339

Employment-population ratio

51.5 53.4 54.8 55.1

Unemployed

1,193 1,007 974 995

Looking for full-time work

743 663 630 645

Looking for part-time work

450 344 344 350

Unemployment rate

10.8 9.1 8.6 8.8

Not in labor force

8,059 7,808 7,548 7,430

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,297 28,038 27,866 27,658

Civilian labor force

17,734 17,423 17,509 17,716

Participation rate

62.7 62.1 62.8 64.1

Employed

15,981 16,031 16,174 16,295

Employment-population ratio

56.5 57.2 58.0 58.9

Unemployed

1,754 1,392 1,335 1,421

Looking for full-time work

1,222 974 863 938

Looking for part-time work

532 418 471 483

Unemployment rate

9.9 8.0 7.6 8.0

Not in labor force

10,562 10,615 10,357 9,942

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,850 5,749 5,668 5,561

Civilian labor force

3,149 3,214 3,203 3,243

Participation rate

53.8 55.9 56.5 58.3

Employed

2,499 2,694 2,675 2,771

Employment-population ratio

42.7 46.9 47.2 49.8

Unemployed

650 520 528 472

Looking for full-time work

533 412 438 374

Looking for part-time work

117 108 90 98

Unemployment rate

20.6 16.2 16.5 14.6

Not in labor force

2,701 2,535 2,465 2,318

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

2,212 2,208 2,302 2,387

Civilian labor force

954 1,047 997 1,065

Participation rate

43.1 47.4 43.3 44.6

Employed

859 944 913 978

Employment-population ratio

38.8 42.7 39.7 41.0

Unemployed

95 103 84 87

Looking for full-time work

65 70 59 37

Looking for part-time work

30 33 25 50

Unemployment rate

10.0 9.9 8.4 8.2

Not in labor force

1,258 1,162 1,305 1,322

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,497 8,535 8,687 8,750

Civilian labor force

4,776 4,835 5,035 5,059

Participation rate

56.2 56.6 58.0 57.8

Employed

4,235 4,347 4,492 4,485

Employment-population ratio

49.8 50.9 51.7 51.3

Unemployed

540 488 543 574

Looking for full-time work

385 353 362 384

Looking for part-time work

155 135 181 190

Unemployment rate

11.3 10.1 10.8 11.3

Not in labor force

3,721 3,700 3,652 3,691

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 2018-2019 [Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Industry and class of worker Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2018
July
2019
July
2018
July
2019
July
2018
July
2019
July
2018
July
2019
July
2018
July
2019

Total employed

20,897 21,196 16,174 16,295 2,675 2,771 913 978 4,492 4,485

Agriculture and related industries

391 322 360 290 8 3 0 9 103 66

Nonagricultural industries

20,506 20,874 15,814 16,005 2,667 2,768 913 969 4,389 4,419

Private wage and salary workers(1)

18,720 19,008 14,468 14,568 2,414 2,542 833 897 4,125 4,104

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

77 66 75 52 0 7 0 0 23 15

Construction

1,000 1,135 888 955 44 83 13 13 283 308

Manufacturing

1,409 1,451 1,124 1,159 141 157 72 53 306 298

Durable goods

815 972 684 770 66 113 35 41 147 183

Nondurable goods

595 480 439 389 74 44 37 12 159 115

Wholesale trade

304 266 234 200 52 53 13 9 77 62

Retail trade

3,682 3,647 2,800 2,708 574 583 164 140 840 809

Transportation and utilities

577 663 447 435 73 145 16 40 184 169

Information

276 277 212 204 25 34 23 31 49 41

Financial activities

797 728 621 556 99 92 30 46 176 173

Professional and business services

1,738 1,706 1,322 1,327 232 182 108 131 389 361

Education and health services

2,383 2,844 1,778 2,108 404 447 83 144 469 557

Leisure and hospitality

5,463 5,282 4,158 4,083 666 661 270 247 1,125 1,189

Other services

1,014 941 812 781 104 97 41 44 204 123

Government wage and salary workers

1,398 1,466 1,064 1,119 190 193 66 53 176 239

Federal

177 219 100 162 48 35 9 6 18 44

State

465 507 375 381 47 62 30 30 44 59

Local

757 740 589 575 96 96 28 17 114 136

Self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers

388 401 282 318 62 34 14 18 88 76

Footnotes
(1) Includes self-employed workers whose businesses are incorporated.

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 16, 2019