Summer Youth Labor Force News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, August 16, 2017                        USDL-17-1128

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 2017


From April to July 2017, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased 
by 1.9 million to 20.9 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
This year, 54.8 percent of young people were employed in July, up by 1.6 percentage 
points from a year earlier. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in 
youth employment.) The unemployment rate for youth was 9.6 percent in July, down by 
1.9 percentage points from July 2016. (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 11.6 percent, to a total of 23.1 million in July. 
(See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth was 60.6 percent in July, little 
different 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 2017 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men, at 62.3 
percent, continued to be higher than the rate for young women, at 58.8 percent. The 
rate for young women edged up from last July, while the rate for young men was 
essentially unchanged. Whites had the highest youth labor force participation rate in 
July 2017 at 62.1 percent. The rate was 55.9 percent for Blacks, 47.4 percent for 
Asians, and 56.6 percent for Hispanics. The rate for Asians increased by 4.3 percentage 
points from last July, while the rates for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics showed little 
change.

Employment

In July 2017, there were 20.9 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds, slightly higher 
than the summer before. Between April and July 2017, the number of employed youth rose 
by 1.9 million, in line with the change between April and July 2016. The employment-
population ratio for youth--the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian 
noninstitutional population with a job--was 54.8 percent in July 2017, an increase of 
1.6 percentage points from the prior year. (See tables 1 and 2.)

The July 2017 employment-population ratios for young women (53.4 percent), Blacks 
(46.9 percent), and Asians (42.7 percent) increased over the year. The ratio for young 
men edged up to 56.1 percent. The ratios for young Whites (57.2 percent) and Hispanics 
(50.9 percent) were little different from the summer before.

In July 2017, the largest percentage of employed youth worked in the leisure and 
hospitality industry (26 percent), which includes food services. An additional 19 
percent of employed youth worked in the retail trade industry, and 12 percent worked 
in education and health services. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

Unemployment among youth rose by 458,000 from April to July 2017, compared with an 
increase of 611,000 for the same period in 2016. 

In July 2017, the youth unemployment rate, at 9.6 percent, was 1.9 percentage points 
lower than last July. This represents the lowest summer youth unemployment rate since 
July 2000. The number of unemployed youth, at 2.2 million in July 2017, declined by 
431,000 from a year earlier. Of the 2.2 million unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds, 1.6 
million were looking for full-time work in July 2017, down 305,000 from July 2016.
(See tables 1 and 2.)

In July 2017, the unemployment rates for both young men (10.1 percent) and women 
(9.1 percent) were lower than the summer before. The July 2017 rates for young Whites 
(8.0 percent) and Blacks (16.2 percent) declined over the year, while the rates for 
young Asians (9.9 percent) and Hispanics (10.1 percent) showed little change. 
(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 2017 [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

38,197 38,181 38,166 38,152 -45 -0.1

Civilian labor force

20,708 20,899 22,720 23,107 2,399 11.6

Participation rate

54.2 54.7 59.5 60.6 6.4 11.8

Employed

18,948 19,070 20,330 20,890 1,942 10.2

Employment-population ratio

49.6 49.9 53.3 54.8 5.2 10.5

Unemployed

1,759 1,829 2,389 2,217 458 26.0

Looking for full-time work

1,098 1,253 1,748 1,607 509 46.4

Looking for part-time work

662 576 641 610 -52 -7.9

Unemployment rate

8.5 8.8 10.5 9.6 1.1 12.9

Not in labor force

17,489 17,282 15,447 15,045 -2,444 -14.0

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,247 19,237 19,228 19,219 -28 -0.1

Civilian labor force

10,647 10,840 11,785 11,983 1,336 12.5

Participation rate

55.3 56.3 61.3 62.3 7.0 12.7

Employed

9,633 9,790 10,447 10,773 1,140 11.8

Employment-population ratio

50.0 50.9 54.3 56.1 6.1 12.2

Unemployed

1,014 1,050 1,338 1,210 196 19.3

Looking for full-time work

700 755 1,028 944 244 34.9

Looking for part-time work

315 295 309 266 -49 -15.6

Unemployment rate

9.5 9.7 11.4 10.1 0.6 6.3

Not in labor force

8,600 8,397 7,444 7,236 -1,364 -15.9

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,950 18,943 18,938 18,932 -18 -0.1

Civilian labor force

10,060 10,059 10,935 11,124 1,064 10.6

Participation rate

53.1 53.1 57.7 58.8 5.7 10.7

Employed

9,315 9,281 9,883 10,117 802 8.6

Employment-population ratio

49.2 49.0 52.2 53.4 4.2 8.5

Unemployed

745 778 1,051 1,007 262 35.2

Looking for full-time work

398 498 720 663 265 66.6

Looking for part-time work

347 281 332 344 -3 -0.9

Unemployment rate

7.4 7.7 9.6 9.1 1.7 23.0

Not in labor force

8,889 8,884 8,003 7,808 -1,081 -12.2

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,085 28,068 28,053 28,038 -47 -0.2

Civilian labor force

15,708 15,773 17,218 17,423 1,715 10.9

Participation rate

55.9 56.2 61.4 62.1 6.2 11.1

Employed

14,527 14,601 15,610 16,031 1,504 10.4

Employment-population ratio

51.7 52.0 55.6 57.2 5.5 10.6

Unemployed

1,181 1,172 1,608 1,392 211 17.9

Looking for full-time work

734 808 1,163 974 240 32.7

Looking for part-time work

447 364 446 418 -29 -6.5

Unemployment rate

7.5 7.4 9.3 8.0 0.5 6.7

Not in labor force

12,377 12,295 10,835 10,615 -1,762 -14.2

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,769 5,762 5,756 5,749 -20 -0.3

Civilian labor force

2,953 3,033 3,170 3,214 261 8.8

Participation rate

51.2 52.6 55.1 55.9 4.7 9.2

Employed

2,542 2,589 2,673 2,694 152 6.0

Employment-population ratio

44.1 44.9 46.4 46.9 2.8 6.3

Unemployed

411 444 497 520 109 26.5

Looking for full-time work

282 314 386 412 130 46.1

Looking for part-time work

129 130 112 108 -21 -16.3

Unemployment rate

13.9 14.6 15.7 16.2 2.3 16.5

Not in labor force

2,816 2,729 2,586 2,535 -281 -10.0

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

2,262 2,249 2,248 2,208 -54 -2.4

Civilian labor force

881 909 973 1,047 166 18.8

Participation rate

38.9 40.4 43.3 47.4 8.5 21.9

Employed

813 844 860 944 131 16.1

Employment-population ratio

35.9 37.5 38.2 42.7 6.8 18.9

Unemployed

68 65 114 103 35 51.5

Looking for full-time work

39 28 70 70 31 79.5

Looking for part-time work

30 38 44 33 3 10.0

Unemployment rate

7.8 7.2 11.7 9.9 2.1 26.9

Not in labor force

1,381 1,340 1,275 1,162 -219 -15.9

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,512 8,520 8,527 8,535 23 0.3

Civilian labor force

4,440 4,561 4,676 4,835 395 8.9

Participation rate

52.2 53.5 54.8 56.6 4.4 8.4

Employed

4,066 4,188 4,198 4,347 281 6.9

Employment-population ratio

47.8 49.2 49.2 50.9 3.1 6.5

Unemployed

374 373 478 488 114 30.5

Looking for full-time work

225 258 358 353 128 56.9

Looking for part-time work

149 115 120 135 -14 -9.4

Unemployment rate

8.4 8.2 10.2 10.1 1.7 20.2

Not in labor force

4,073 3,959 3,851 3,700 -373 -9.2

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 2014-2017 [Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2014
July
2015
July
2016
July
2017

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

38,735 38,589 38,450 38,152

Civilian labor force

23,437 23,162 23,104 23,107

Participation rate

60.5 60.0 60.1 60.6

Employed

20,085 20,333 20,456 20,890

Employment-population ratio

51.9 52.7 53.2 54.8

Unemployed

3,353 2,829 2,648 2,217

Looking for full-time work

2,460 2,134 1,912 1,607

Looking for part-time work

893 695 736 610

Unemployment rate

14.3 12.2 11.5 9.6

Not in labor force

15,298 15,426 15,346 15,045

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,527 19,442 19,380 19,219

Civilian labor force

12,335 12,011 12,094 11,983

Participation rate

63.2 61.8 62.4 62.3

Employed

10,470 10,488 10,638 10,773

Employment-population ratio

53.6 53.9 54.9 56.1

Unemployed

1,865 1,523 1,455 1,210

Looking for full-time work

1,437 1,195 1,169 944

Looking for part-time work

428 328 286 266

Unemployment rate

15.1 12.7 12.0 10.1

Not in labor force

7,191 7,431 7,287 7,236

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,208 19,147 19,069 18,932

Civilian labor force

11,102 11,151 11,010 11,124

Participation rate

57.8 58.2 57.7 58.8

Employed

9,614 9,846 9,818 10,117

Employment-population ratio

50.1 51.4 51.5 53.4

Unemployed

1,488 1,306 1,193 1,007

Looking for full-time work

1,023 939 743 663

Looking for part-time work

465 367 450 344

Unemployment rate

13.4 11.7 10.8 9.1

Not in labor force

8,106 7,996 8,059 7,808

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,718 28,488 28,297 28,038

Civilian labor force

18,137 17,735 17,734 17,423

Participation rate

63.2 62.3 62.7 62.1

Employed

15,917 15,903 15,981 16,031

Employment-population ratio

55.4 55.8 56.5 57.2

Unemployed

2,220 1,832 1,754 1,392

Looking for full-time work

1,612 1,308 1,222 974

Looking for part-time work

607 524 532 418

Unemployment rate

12.2 10.3 9.9 8.0

Not in labor force

10,581 10,754 10,562 10,615

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,973 5,916 5,850 5,749

Civilian labor force

3,160 3,337 3,149 3,214

Participation rate

52.9 56.4 53.8 55.9

Employed

2,376 2,645 2,499 2,694

Employment-population ratio

39.8 44.7 42.7 46.9

Unemployed

784 691 650 520

Looking for full-time work

591 604 533 412

Looking for part-time work

192 87 117 108

Unemployment rate

24.8 20.7 20.6 16.2

Not in labor force

2,813 2,580 2,701 2,535

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

2,044 2,148 2,212 2,208

Civilian labor force

936 957 954 1,047

Participation rate

45.8 44.6 43.1 47.4

Employed

834 855 859 944

Employment-population ratio

40.8 39.8 38.8 42.7

Unemployed

102 102 95 103

Looking for full-time work

70 68 65 70

Looking for part-time work

32 34 30 33

Unemployment rate

10.9 10.7 10.0 9.9

Not in labor force

1,109 1,191 1,258 1,162

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,313 8,406 8,497 8,535

Civilian labor force

4,675 4,728 4,776 4,835

Participation rate

56.2 56.2 56.2 56.6

Employed

3,903 4,127 4,235 4,347

Employment-population ratio

47.0 49.1 49.8 50.9

Unemployed

772 601 540 488

Looking for full-time work

560 458 385 353

Looking for part-time work

212 143 155 135

Unemployment rate

16.5 12.7 11.3 10.1

Not in labor force

3,637 3,679 3,721 3,700

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 2016-2017 [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
2016
July
2017
July
2016
July
2017
July
2016
July
2017
July
2016
July
2017
July
2016
July
2017

Total employed

20,456 20,890 15,981 16,031 2,499 2,694 859 944 4,235 4,347

Agriculture and related industries

320 336 302 306 5 14 4 3 74 105

Nonagricultural industries

20,136 20,555 15,678 15,724 2,493 2,680 855 940 4,162 4,242

Private wage and salary workers(1)

18,359 18,794 14,314 14,395 2,245 2,449 774 862 3,893 3,992

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

39 32 25 26 13 0 0 0 15 3

Construction

991 1,061 934 965 24 44 8 9 304 368

Manufacturing

1,408 1,361 1,092 1,062 172 161 71 72 261 273

Durable goods

792 820 653 683 75 83 41 37 136 140

Nondurable goods

616 540 439 380 97 79 30 35 124 134

Wholesale trade

252 290 209 236 20 28 4 15 58 70

Retail trade

3,756 3,978 2,871 2,996 500 570 173 190 781 907

Transportation and utilities

434 595 278 380 100 157 30 17 81 144

Information

278 305 237 199 20 46 20 31 59 57

Financial activities

762 721 581 556 78 89 57 36 145 115

Professional and business services

1,690 1,724 1,324 1,328 189 217 99 96 399 317

Education and health services

2,607 2,466 1,951 1,848 391 379 133 108 497 442

Leisure and hospitality

5,213 5,403 4,072 4,107 638 680 138 242 1,104 1,141

Other services

929 858 741 691 98 78 40 46 190 155

Government wage and salary workers

1,395 1,491 1,042 1,096 221 210 68 72 177 213

Federal

158 194 112 107 23 45 14 20 8 24

State

510 541 366 392 82 67 36 31 58 71

Local

728 756 563 597 116 98 18 20 111 118

Self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers

382 270 322 233 28 21 14 6 91 37

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, 2017