August 12, 2003
The labor force participation rate for youth—the proportion of the population age 16 to 24 working or looking for work—was 67.3 percent in July, down from 69.5 percent a year earlier. This was the lowest July labor force participation rate for youth since 1966.
The over-the-year decrease in the youth labor force participation rate may reflect, at least in part, the continuing weakness in the labor market in 2003. However, the participation rate for youth in July has been on the decline for a number of years, perhaps in response to increases in school enrollment during the summer.
In July 2003, 25.5 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in school, up from 16.3 percent in July 1994, and participation rates for students are typically lower than for non-students. Only about half of the youth enrolled in school in July 2003 were in the labor force compared with almost three-fourths of those not in school.
These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. The data are not seasonally adjusted. Find out more in "Employment and Unemployment Among Youth -- Summer 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-412.