August 28, 2009
The youth unemployment rate (the unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds) was 18.5 percent in July 2009, the highest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948.
The July 2009 unemployment rates for young men (19.7 percent), women (17.3 percent), whites (16.4 percent), blacks (31.2 percent), Asians (16.3 percent), and Hispanics (21.7 percent) increased from a year earlier.
In July 2009, 4.4 million youth were unemployed, up by nearly 1.0 million from July 2008. The increase in youth unemployment in the summer of 2009 reflected a weak job market.
July is the traditional summertime peak for youth employment; in July 2009, 19.3 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed.
In July 2009, 25 percent of employed youth—4.8 million—worked in the leisure and hospitality industry (which includes food services). Another 20 percent—3.9 million—worked in the retail trade industry.
These data are from the Current Population Survey. The data are not seasonally adjusted. To learn more about youth unemployment and employment, see "Employment and Unemployment Among Youth—Summer 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-1021.