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60.2 percent of youth participated in the labor force in July 2023

August 29, 2023

The summer labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-olds was 60.2 percent in July 2023, little different from a year earlier (60.4 percent). After peaking at 77.5 percent in July 1989, the rate trended downward then ranged between 60.0 to 60.6 percent during 2012 to 2018. The rate increased to 61.8 percent in July 2019, but dropped to 57.3 percent following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor force participation rates of 16- to 24-year-olds in July, 1948–2023, not seasonally adjusted
Year Total Men Women

July 1948

66.2 85.8 48.0

July 1949

66.2 85.8 48.2

July 1950

64.9 86.0 45.1

July 1951

65.8 85.8 49.5

July 1952

63.7 85.2 47.1

July 1953

62.2 82.8 46.7

July 1954

61.7 82.5 45.5

July 1955

62.8 83.2 46.5

July 1956

66.0 85.8 49.7

July 1957

66.0 86.1 49.2

July 1958

64.0 83.5 47.4

July 1959

63.1 82.9 45.8

July 1960

64.7 83.0 48.4

July 1961

64.1 81.5 48.4

July 1962

64.3 81.9 48.8

July 1963

63.6 81.1 48.1

July 1964

63.2 81.2 47.1

July 1965

65.3 83.2 49.2

July 1966

66.7 83.1 52.2

July 1967

67.7 83.8 53.8

July 1968

67.8 82.6 55.1

July 1969

68.6 82.5 56.6

July 1970

68.7 82.2 56.8

July 1971

68.9 81.8 57.1

July 1972

70.2 82.3 58.9

July 1973

71.9 84.2 60.3

July 1974

73.2 84.3 62.6

July 1975

73.0 83.5 63.1

July 1976

74.1 83.8 64.9

July 1977

74.7 84.5 65.2

July 1978

76.5 85.0 68.4

July 1979

76.6 85.0 68.4

July 1980

76.3 84.4 68.5

July 1981

75.3 82.7 68.0

July 1982

74.7 81.2 68.5

July 1983

75.6 83.0 68.4

July 1984

76.3 82.5 70.3

July 1985

76.5 82.8 70.3

July 1986

76.7 82.9 70.6

July 1987

76.3 81.4 71.3

July 1988

76.9 82.5 71.4

July 1989

77.5 82.8 72.4

July 1990

75.1 80.8 69.5

July 1991

73.6 79.6 67.6

July 1992

74.6 79.8 69.5

July 1993

74.5 79.5 69.5

July 1994

74.1 78.8 69.4

July 1995

74.3 79.3 69.3

July 1996

73.3 78.3 68.3

July 1997

73.0 76.5 69.4

July 1998

72.8 76.3 69.3

July 1999

72.6 76.0 69.1

July 2000

71.6 75.2 68.1

July 2001

70.7 74.1 67.2

July 2002

69.5 72.3 66.6

July 2003

67.3 70.0 64.5

July 2004

67.2 70.4 63.9

July 2005

66.6 69.6 63.6

July 2006

66.7 69.7 63.6

July 2007

65.0 67.9 62.1

July 2008

65.1 68.1 62.1

July 2009

63.0 64.9 61.1

July 2010

60.5 62.7 58.1

July 2011

59.5 61.4 57.6

July 2012

60.5 63.2 57.8

July 2013

60.5 62.7 58.2

July 2014

60.5 63.2 57.8

July 2015

60.0 61.8 58.2

July 2016

60.1 62.4 57.7

July 2017

60.6 62.3 58.8

July 2018

60.6 61.1 60.0

July 2019

61.8 63.2 60.4

July 2020

57.3 58.4 56.2

July 2021

60.5 61.8 59.1

July 2022

60.4 61.7 59.2

July 2023

60.2 60.4 60.0

The labor force participation rate for young men declined to 60.4 percent in July 2023, while the rate for young women was little different from a year earlier, at 60.0 percent. This narrowed the gap to 0.4 percentage point in the summer of 2023, the smallest difference since the series began. The gap between the rates for young men and young women was at its widest at 40.9 percentage points in July 1950.

Employed persons 16 to 24 years of age, by industry, July 2023
Industry Employed persons, 16 to 24 years of age

Leisure and hospitality

5,344,000

Retail trade

3,800,000

Education and health services

2,712,000

Professional and business services

1,835,000

Manufacturing

1,465,000

Construction

1,329,000

Other services

1,047,000

Transportation and utilities

840,000

Local government

697,000

Financial activities

649,000

State government

441,000

Self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers

428,000

Agriculture and related industries

345,000

Wholesale trade

250,000

Federal government

205,000

Information

189,000

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

47,000

The leisure and hospitality industry had 5.3 million young workers in July 2023, and employed the largest share of workers ages 16- to 24-years old (25 percent). Retail trade employed the second most young workers at 18 percent of youth employment, and 13 percent were employed in education and health services.

The labor force participation rate is the labor force (those employed, on temporary layoff, or looking and available for work) as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population. These data are from the Current Population Surveyand not seasonally adjusted. For more information, see “Employment and Unemployment among Youth — Summer 2023”. 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 60.2 percent of youth participated in the labor force in July 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/60-2-percent-of-youth-participated-in-the-labor-force-in-july-2023.htm (visited April 21, 2024).

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