Economic News Release

Summer Youth Labor Force News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, August 21, 2012                    USDL-12-1717

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 2012


From April to July 2012, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old rose 2.1 
million to 19.5 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This 
year, the share of young people employed in July was 50.2 percent. (The month of 
July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) Unemployment among youth
increased by 836,000 from April to July 2012, compared with an increase of 745,000 
for the same period in 2011. (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 2.9 million, or 14.2 percent, to a total of 
23.5 million in July. (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth--the proportion of the population 
16 to 24 years old working or looking for work--was 60.5 percent in July, up from 
July 2011. Taking a longer-term perspective, the July 2012 participation rate was 
17.0 percentage points below the peak rate for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent).

The July 2012 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 63.2 
percent. The rate for young women was 57.8 percent. From 1948, when the series 
began, to 1989, the July labor force participation rate for young men showed no 
clear trend, ranging from 81 to 86 percent. Since 1989, however, their July 
participation rate has trended down, falling by about 20 percentage points. The 
July labor force participation rate for young women peaked in 1989 at 72.4 percent, 
following a long-term upward trend. The participation rate of young women has fallen
by about 15 percentage points since 1989.

The youth labor force participation rate for whites was 62.9 percent in July 2012, 
compared with 54.5 percent for blacks, 43.7 percent for Asians, and 57.1 percent for
Hispanics.

Employment

Employment for 16- to 24-year-olds reached 19.5 million in July 2012, up 2.1 million
since April. In 2011, youth employment rose by 1.7 million from April to July. The 
July 2012 employment-population ratio for youth--the proportion of the 16- to 24-
year-old civilian noninstitutional population with a job--was 50.2 percent, up from 
July 2011. (See table 2.)

In July 2012, the youth employment-population ratio for men was 51.9 percent, and 
the ratio for women was 48.4 percent. The ratio for whites was 53.5 percent, compared with 
38.9 percent for blacks, 37.4 percent for Asians, and 46.5 percent for Hispanics.

Twenty-six percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality sector 
(which includes food services) in July 2012, the same proportion as in July 2011. 
Another 19 percent of employed youth worked in the retail trade industry in July 
2012, down slightly from the proportion in July 2011. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

The number of unemployed youth in July 2012 was 4.0 million, little changed from 4.1 
million a year ago. The youth unemployment rate was 17.1 percent in July 2012. The 
unemployment rate for young men was 17.9 percent, in July 2012, and the rate for 
women was 16.2 percent. The jobless rate for whites was 14.9 percent, compared with 
28.6 percent for blacks, 14.4 percent for Asians, and 18.5 percent for Hispanics. 
(See table 2.)



    _____________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                     |
   |            Adjustments to Population Estimates for Youth            |
   |                                                                     |
   |  Updated population controls are introduced annually with the       |
   |  release of January data. The updated controls in January 2012      |
   |  incorporated the Census 2010 population base for the first time;   |
   |  prior years’ data shown in this release used the Census 2000       |
   |  population base. The introduction of Census 2010-based controls    |
   |  had a disproportionate effect on the population age 16 to 24.      |
   |  Consequently, data for 2012 are not strictly comparable to those   |
   |  for earlier years. For more information, see Adjustments to        |
   |  Household Survey Population Estimates in January 2012 on the BLS   |
   |  website at www.bls.gov/cps/cps12adj.pdf.                           |
   |_____________________________________________________________________|




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

   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 exact difference, or sampling error, varies 
depending upon the particular sample selected, and this 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.

   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and information 
on estimating standard errors is available on the BLS website at
www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

   The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly
below.

   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-operated enterprise; or (d) were temporarily absent from
their jobs because of illness, vacation, labor dispute, or another reason.

   Unemployed persons are all persons who had no employment during the 
reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and
had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4 weeks
preceding the survey. 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.

   Civilian labor force comprises all persons classified as employed or
unemployed.

   Unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed persons as a
percent of the civilian labor force.

   Not in the labor force includes all persons who are not classified as
employed or unemployed.

   Industry and class of worker for the employed relate to the job held in 
the survey 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 2007 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 receive wages, salary, commissions, tips, or pay
in kind from a private employer or from a government entity.
   
   Self-employed workers 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 are persons working without pay for 15 hours a week
or more on a farm or 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 2012
[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

38,778 38,784 38,791 38,799 21 0.1

Civilian labor force

20,562 21,118 23,086 23,472 2,910 14.2

Participation rate

53.0 54.5 59.5 60.5 7.5 14.2

Employed

17,387 17,681 18,907 19,461 2,074 11.9

Employment-population ratio

44.8 45.6 48.7 50.2 5.4 12.1

Unemployed

3,175 3,438 4,180 4,011 836 26.3

Looking for full-time work

2,274 2,545 3,174 3,074 800 35.2

Looking for part-time work

902 892 1,006 937 35 3.9

Unemployment rate

15.4 16.3 18.1 17.1 1.7 11.0

Not in labor force

18,216 17,665 15,704 15,327 -2,889 -15.9

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,541 19,545 19,549 19,554 13 0.1

Civilian labor force

10,648 10,980 12,093 12,355 1,707 16.0

Participation rate

54.5 56.2 61.9 63.2 8.7 16.0

Employed

8,842 9,054 9,733 10,140 1,298 14.7

Employment-population ratio

45.2 46.3 49.8 51.9 6.7 14.8

Unemployed

1,806 1,926 2,360 2,215 409 22.6

Looking for full-time work

1,323 1,433 1,831 1,785 462 34.9

Looking for part-time work

484 493 529 430 -54 -11.2

Unemployment rate

17.0 17.5 19.5 17.9 0.9 5.3

Not in labor force

8,893 8,565 7,456 7,199 -1,694 -19.0

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,237 19,239 19,242 19,245 8 0.0

Civilian labor force

9,914 10,138 10,994 11,117 1,203 12.1

Participation rate

51.5 52.7 57.1 57.8 6.3 12.2

Employed

8,545 8,626 9,174 9,321 776 9.1

Employment-population ratio

44.4 44.8 47.7 48.4 4.0 9.0

Unemployed

1,369 1,512 1,819 1,796 427 31.2

Looking for full-time work

951 1,112 1,342 1,289 338 35.5

Looking for part-time work

418 400 477 507 89 21.3

Unemployment rate

13.8 14.9 16.5 16.2 2.4 17.4

Not in labor force

9,323 9,101 8,248 8,128 -1,195 -12.8

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,951 28,952 28,953 28,956 5 0.0

Civilian labor force

16,075 16,490 17,921 18,213 2,138 13.3

Participation rate

55.5 57.0 61.9 62.9 7.4 13.3

Employed

13,811 14,071 15,054 15,498 1,687 12.2

Employment-population ratio

47.7 48.6 52.0 53.5 5.8 12.2

Unemployed

2,265 2,419 2,867 2,715 450 19.9

Looking for full-time work

1,576 1,756 2,113 2,019 443 28.1

Looking for part-time work

688 664 754 696 8 1.2

Unemployment rate

14.1 14.7 16.0 14.9 0.8 5.7

Not in labor force

12,876 12,462 11,032 10,743 -2,133 -16.6

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,968 5,969 5,970 5,971 3 0.1

Civilian labor force

2,823 2,912 3,258 3,256 433 15.3

Participation rate

47.3 48.8 54.6 54.5 7.2 15.2

Employed

2,164 2,162 2,274 2,323 159 7.3

Employment-population ratio

36.3 36.2 38.1 38.9 2.6 7.2

Unemployed

659 750 984 933 274 41.6

Looking for full-time work

521 611 817 783 262 50.3

Looking for part-time work

138 139 167 150 12 8.7

Unemployment rate

23.3 25.8 30.2 28.6 5.3 22.7

Not in labor force

3,145 3,057 2,712 2,715 -430 -13.7

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,975 1,929 1,929 1,922 -53 -2.7

Civilian labor force

682 674 810 839 157 23.0

Participation rate

34.5 34.9 42.0 43.7 9.2 26.7

Employed

620 595 694 718 98 15.8

Employment-population ratio

31.4 30.8 36.0 37.4 6.0 19.1

Unemployed

62 79 116 121 59 95.2

Looking for full-time work

41 38 82 83 42 102.4

Looking for part-time work

21 41 34 38 17 81.0

Unemployment rate

9.1 11.7 14.3 14.4 5.3 58.2

Not in labor force

1,293 1,256 1,119 1,083 -210 -16.2

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,127 8,139 8,151 8,164 37 0.5

Civilian labor force

4,251 4,451 4,643 4,658 407 9.6

Participation rate

52.3 54.7 57.0 57.1 4.8 9.2

Employed

3,520 3,596 3,693 3,799 279 7.9

Employment-population ratio

43.3 44.2 45.3 46.5 3.2 7.4

Unemployed

731 855 951 860 129 17.6

Looking for full-time work

532 668 697 698 166 31.2

Looking for part-time work

199 188 254 162 -37 -18.6

Unemployment rate

17.2 19.2 20.5 18.5 1.3 7.6

Not in labor force

3,875 3,687 3,508 3,506 -369 -9.5

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 2009-2012
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2009
July
2010
July
2011
July
2012

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

37,586 37,944 38,196 38,799

Civilian labor force

23,691 22,938 22,742 23,472

Participation rate

63.0 60.5 59.5 60.5

Employed

19,304 18,564 18,632 19,461

Employment-population ratio

51.4 48.9 48.8 50.2

Unemployed

4,387 4,374 4,110 4,011

Looking for full-time work

3,430 3,374 3,238 3,074

Looking for part-time work

957 1,000 872 937

Unemployment rate

18.5 19.1 18.1 17.1

Not in labor force

13,895 15,006 15,454 15,327

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,935 19,126 19,425 19,554

Civilian labor force

12,298 11,997 11,930 12,355

Participation rate

64.9 62.7 61.4 63.2

Employed

9,880 9,537 9,746 10,140

Employment-population ratio

52.2 49.9 50.2 51.9

Unemployed

2,418 2,460 2,184 2,215

Looking for full-time work

1,973 1,949 1,809 1,785

Looking for part-time work

444 510 375 430

Unemployment rate

19.7 20.5 18.3 17.9

Not in labor force

6,637 7,129 7,494 7,199

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,650 18,819 18,772 19,245

Civilian labor force

11,393 10,942 10,812 11,117

Participation rate

61.1 58.1 57.6 57.8

Employed

9,424 9,027 8,886 9,321

Employment-population ratio

50.5 48.0 47.3 48.4

Unemployed

1,969 1,914 1,926 1,796

Looking for full-time work

1,456 1,425 1,428 1,289

Looking for part-time work

513 489 497 507

Unemployment rate

17.3 17.5 17.8 16.2

Not in labor force

7,257 7,877 7,960 8,128

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

29,010 29,164 29,377 28,956

Civilian labor force

19,147 18,441 18,266 18,213

Participation rate

66.0 63.2 62.2 62.9

Employed

16,000 15,455 15,367 15,498

Employment-population ratio

55.2 53.0 52.3 53.5

Unemployed

3,147 2,987 2,899 2,715

Looking for full-time work

2,403 2,253 2,203 2,019

Looking for part-time work

744 733 696 696

Unemployment rate

16.4 16.2 15.9 14.9

Not in labor force

9,863 10,722 11,111 10,743

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,662 5,756 5,763 5,971

Civilian labor force

2,995 2,972 2,893 3,256

Participation rate

52.9 51.6 50.2 54.5

Employed

2,060 1,980 1,996 2,323

Employment-population ratio

36.4 34.4 34.6 38.9

Unemployed

935 992 897 933

Looking for full-time work

772 843 778 783

Looking for part-time work

163 149 118 150

Unemployment rate

31.2 33.4 31.0 28.6

Not in labor force

2,667 2,783 2,870 2,715

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,500 1,576 1,573 1,922

Civilian labor force

740 762 753 839

Participation rate

49.3 48.3 47.9 43.7

Employed

619 597 638 718

Employment-population ratio

41.3 37.9 40.5 37.4

Unemployed

121 165 115 121

Looking for full-time work

96 122 97 83

Looking for part-time work

24 42 18 38

Unemployment rate

16.3 21.6 15.3 14.4

Not in labor force

760 814 820 1,083

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

6,752 7,128 7,605 8,164

Civilian labor force

4,014 3,995 4,080 4,658

Participation rate

59.4 56.1 53.6 57.1

Employed

3,143 3,111 3,260 3,799

Employment-population ratio

46.5 43.6 42.9 46.5

Unemployed

871 884 820 860

Looking for full-time work

693 703 646 698

Looking for part-time work

178 181 174 162

Unemployment rate

21.7 22.1 20.1 18.5

Not in labor force

2,738 3,133 3,525 3,506

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 2011-2012
[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
2011
July
2012
July
2011
July
2012
July
2011
July
2012
July
2011
July
2012
July
2011
July
2012

Total employed

18,632 19,461 15,367 15,498 1,996 2,323 638 718 3,260 3,799

Agriculture and related industries

382 419 369 392 4 4 0 1 121 90

Nonagricultural industries

18,251 19,043 14,998 15,106 1,992 2,319 638 717 3,139 3,709

Private wage and salary workers(1)

16,472 17,318 13,575 13,724 1,773 2,129 589 663 2,899 3,421

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

76 128 63 119 0 3 5 2 18 25

Construction

744 771 684 697 29 30 1 13 265 265

Manufacturing

1,106 1,278 896 1,047 116 121 58 51 192 292

Durable goods

688 776 590 640 49 66 35 37 99 126

Nondurable goods

418 502 306 407 67 56 24 14 93 166

Wholesale trade

342 319 278 296 47 12 14 5 112 92

Retail trade

3,869 3,772 3,104 2,856 502 599 153 136 662 636

Transportation and utilities

360 440 284 362 66 41 4 19 75 102

Information

329 340 271 257 22 50 21 15 47 51

Financial activities

716 696 595 576 66 52 36 40 117 135

Professional and business services

1,326 1,380 1,071 1,077 141 186 69 56 262 329

Education and health services

1,936 2,231 1,520 1,658 285 318 75 134 246 376

Leisure and hospitality

4,770 5,092 4,016 4,053 456 627 127 177 763 995

Other services

898 870 795 726 42 89 27 15 138 124

Government wage and salary workers

1,382 1,298 1,072 1,028 190 150 43 46 170 216

Federal

190 166 134 131 35 27 3 7 11 32

State

452 370 348 270 61 30 18 26 62 45

Local

739 762 590 628 95 93 22 13 97 139

Self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers

397 427 350 354 29 41 5 8 70 71

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 21, 2012
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