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Economic News Release
CPS CPS Program Links

Employment and Unemployment Among Youth Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, August 16, 2023 		                       USDL-23-1792

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  *  *
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *


In July 2023, 55.0 percent of young people (persons ages 16 to 24) were employed, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This measure was little changed from 55.3 percent 
in July 2022. The July 2023 figure remains below its level of 56.2 percent in July 2019, 
prior to the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (The month of July typically is 
the summertime peak in youth employment.) The unemployment rate for youth was 8.7 percent 
in July 2023, little different than the rates in July 2022 (8.5 percent) and in July 2019 
(9.1 percent). (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. In 2023, the youth labor force grew by 2.2 million, or 10.4 
percent, from April (21.5 million) to July (23.7 million). (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth was 60.2 percent in July 2023, little different
from a year earlier. (The labor force participation rate is the proportion of the civilian 
noninstitutional population that is employed or unemployed. To be classified as unemployed, a 
person must either be looking and available for work or on temporary layoff.) (See table 2.)

In 2023, the July labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men, at 60.4 percent, 
was down over the year. The July rate for young women, at 60.0 percent, was little different 
from a year earlier. Continuing a long-standing pattern, Whites had the highest youth labor 
force participation rate and Asians had the lowest rate (62.6 percent and 49.8 percent, 
respectively) in July 2023. The participation rates for Black (53.5 percent) and Asian 
(49.8 percent) youth showed little change over the year. After adjusting for population 
controls, the participation rates for White (62.6 percent) and Hispanic (57.5 percent) youth 
also showed little change over the year.


In July 2023, there were 21.6 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds. Between April and July, the 
number of employed youth rose by 1.4 million, or 6.9 percent. The employment-population ratio 
for youth--the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population with a
job--was 55.0 percent in July 2023, little changed from the prior year. (See tables 1 and 2.)

In July 2023, the employment-population ratios for young men (54.9 percent) and Blacks 
(43.8 percent) were lower than they were a year earlier. The ratios for young women (55.1 percent),
Asians (47.0 percent), and Hispanics (51.5 percent) were little changed.

In July 2023, 25 percent (5.3 million) of employed 16- to 24-year-olds worked in the leisure and 
hospitality industry, the largest share of youth workers. 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.)


Typically, the number of unemployed young people increases with the onset of summer, as people 
who were not in the labor force while attending school begin seeking employment. Unemployment 
among youth rose by 826,000 from April to July 2023. About 7 in 10 of the unemployed youth were 
looking for full-time work in July 2023, little different from the prior year. 
(See tables 1 and 2.)

The youth unemployment rate, at 8.7 percent in July 2023, was little changed from July 2022. 
The July 2023 unemployment rate was lower for young Asians (5.6 percent) than in the prior summer,
while the rates for young men (9.2 percent), women (8.2 percent), Whites (7.0 percent), Blacks
(18.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.5 percent) showed little or no change.

|										       |
|                   Adjustments to Population Estimates for Youth	               |
|										       |
| Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.| 
| The January 2023 adjustments had a disproportionately large effect on the population |
| ages 16 to 24. Consequently, data for 2023 are not strictly comparable to those for  |
| earlier years. For more information, see Adjustments to Household Survey Population  |
| Estimates in January 2023 on the BLS website at                                      |
|     	                                       |
Last Modified Date: August 16, 2023