Economic News Release

Summer Youth Labor Force News Release


Technical information:  (202) 691-6378     USDL 09-1021
               http://www.bls.gov/cps/
                                           For release:  10:00 A.M. (EDT)
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902     Thursday, August 27, 2009


          EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH--SUMMER 2009
   
   From April to July 2009, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old
increased by 1.6 million to 19.3 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of 
the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  This year, however, the pro-
portion of young people who were employed in July was 51.4 percent, the 
lowest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948.  (July is 
the traditional summertime peak for youth employment.)  Unemployment among 
youth increased by 1.1 million between April and July 2009, about the same 
as in the summer of 2008.  (Because this analysis focuses on the seasonal 
changes in youth employment and unemployment that occur every 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 take or search 
for summer jobs, and many graduates enter the labor market to look for or 
begin permanent employment.  This summer, the youth labor force grew by 
2.6 million to a total of 23.7 million in July.  (See table 1.)
   
   The labor force participation rate for youth--the proportion of their 
population working or looking for work--was 63.0 percent in July 2009, 
down by 2.1 percentage points from July 2008 and 14.5 percentage points 
below its peak for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent).  The youth partici-
pation rate was the lowest July rate since 1955 (62.8 percent).
   
   The July 2009 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old
men, at 64.9 percent, was down by 3.2 percentage points from a year
earlier, and the rate for women, at 61.1 percent, was little changed over
the year.  For several decades prior to 1989, young men's July labor
force participation rate showed no clear trend, ranging from 81 to 86
percent.  Since July 1989, however, their participation rate has trended 
down by about 18 percentage points.  Young women's July labor force par-
ticipation rate peaked in 1989 after a long-term upward trend; their 
rate has trended down by about 11 percentage points since then.
   
   The July 2009 participation rates for whites fell by 2.1 percentage
points to 66.0 percent.  The rates for blacks at 52.9 percent and Hispanics 
at 59.4 percent were little changed from a year earlier.  For all three 
groups, labor force participation rates were significantly lower than 
their peak levels reached in July 1989.  The participation rate for Asian 
youth in July 2009, at 49.3 percent, was little different from July 2008.  
(See table 2.)  

Employment
   
   In July 2009, 19.3 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed.  This
summer's increase in youth employment was lower than last year's (1.6
million vs. 1.9 million).  The employment-population ratio for youth--
the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional pop-
ulation that was employed--was 51.4 percent in July, down 4.6 percent-
age points from July 2008.  The ratio has fallen by nearly 18 percent-
age points since its peak in July 1989.  The steep decline from July 
2008 to July 2009 reflects, in part, continued weak labor market condi-
tions due to the recession that began in December 2007.  (See table 2.)


                               - 2 -


   The employment-population ratio for young men was 52.2 percent in
July 2009, down from 57.9 percent in July 2008.  The employment-pop-
ulation ratios for women (50.5 percent), whites (55.2 percent), blacks 
(36.4 percent), Asians (41.3 percent), and Hispanics (46.5 percent) in 
July 2009 also were lower than a year earlier.

   In July 2009, 25 percent of employed youth worked in the leisure
and hospitality industry (which includes food services).  Another 20
percent worked in the retail trade industry.  (See table 3.)

Unemployment
 
   In July 2009, 4.4 million youth were unemployed, up by nearly 1.0
million from July 2008.  The youth unemployment rate was 18.5 percent
in July 2009, the highest July rate on record for the series, which
began in 1948.  As with the decline in employment, the increase in
youth unemployment in the summer of 2009 reflected a weak job market.
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.  (See table 2.)





                                  - 3 -


Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population
Survey (CPS), a national sample survey of 60,000 households conducted month-
ly 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 tran-
sition from school to work.  July is the peak summer month of youth employment.   

   Beginning in January 2009, data reflect revised population controls
used in the CPS.  For a discussion of the introduction of the revised
population controls and the impact that their introduction had on the CPS
data, see "Adjustments to Household Survey Population Estimates in January
2009" available at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps09adj.pdf on the BLS Web site.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired
individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Ser-
vice:  (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 de-
pending 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 infor-
mation, and errors made in the collection or processing of the data.
   
   For a full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and infor-
mation on estimating standard errors, see "Reliability of estimates from the 
CPS" available on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#
reliability.
   
Definitions
   
   The principal definitions used in this release are described briefly
below.
   
   Employed persons are (a) all those who, during the survey reference
week, did any work at all as paid employees; worked in their own business,
profession, or on their own farm; or who worked 15 hours or more as unpaid
workers in a family-operated enterprise; and (b) all those who did not work
but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to
illness, bad weather, vacation, child-care problems, labor disputes or per-
sonal reasons, whether or not they were paid by their employers for the
time off and whether or not they were seeking other jobs.


                                  - 4 -


   Unemployed persons are all persons who had no employment during the ref-
erence 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.  In terms of
class-of-worker categories, wage and salary workers are those who receive
wages, salaries, commissions, tips, or pay-in-kind from a private employer
or from a government unit; self-employed persons are those who work for
profit or fees in their own business, profession, or trade, or operate a
farm; and unpaid family workers are persons working without pay for 15
hours a week or more in an enterprise operated by a member of their family.





       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 2009

       (Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.)
                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                      April-July changes (1)
                      Employment status, sex, race, and                     April       May        June       July                          
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                                       
                                                                                                                         Number     Percent 
                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                            
                                     TOTAL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    37,536     37,549     37,566     37,586           50        0.1 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    21,060     21,439     23,379     23,691        2,631       12.5 
               Participation rate.......................................      56.1       57.1       62.2       63.0          6.9       12.3 
           Employed.....................................................    17,739     17,588     18,726     19,304        1,566        8.8 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      47.3       46.8       49.8       51.4          4.1        8.7 
           Unemployed...................................................     3,321      3,851      4,653      4,387        1,066       32.1 
               Looking for full-time work...............................     2,449      2,975      3,676      3,430          981       40.1 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       872        876        977        957           85        9.7 
               Unemployment rate........................................      15.8       18.0       19.9       18.5          2.7       17.4 
         Not in labor force.............................................    16,476     16,111     14,188     13,895       -2,582      -15.7 
                                                                                                                                            
                                      Men                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    18,913     18,919     18,926     18,935           22         .1 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    10,972     11,228     12,154     12,298        1,326       12.1 
               Participation rate.......................................      58.0       59.4       64.2       64.9          6.9       12.0 
           Employed.....................................................     8,915      8,896      9,564      9,880          966       10.8 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      47.1       47.0       50.5       52.2          5.0       10.7 
           Unemployed...................................................     2,057      2,333      2,590      2,418          360       17.5 
               Looking for full-time work...............................     1,584      1,869      2,121      1,973          389       24.6 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       473        464        469        444          -29       -6.1 
               Unemployment rate........................................      18.8       20.8       21.3       19.7           .9        4.8 
         Not in labor force.............................................     7,941      7,690      6,772      6,637       -1,304      -16.4 
                                                                                                                                            
                                     Women                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    18,623     18,631     18,640     18,650           27         .1 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    10,088     10,211     11,225     11,393        1,305       12.9 
               Participation rate.......................................      54.2       54.8       60.2       61.1          6.9       12.8 
           Employed.....................................................     8,824      8,692      9,162      9,424          600        6.8 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      47.4       46.7       49.2       50.5          3.1        6.6 
           Unemployed...................................................     1,264      1,519      2,063      1,969          705       55.8 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       865      1,106      1,556      1,456          592       68.5 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       399        412        507        513          113       28.4 
               Unemployment rate........................................      12.5       14.9       18.4       17.3          4.8       38.0 
         Not in labor force.............................................     8,536      8,420      7,415      7,257       -1,278      -15.0 
                                                                                                                                            
                                     White                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    28,989     28,993     29,001     29,010           21         .1 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    16,966     17,434     18,914     19,147        2,181       12.9 
               Participation rate.......................................      58.5       60.1       65.2       66.0          7.5       12.8 
           Employed.....................................................    14,630     14,619     15,512     16,000        1,370        9.4 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      50.5       50.4       53.5       55.2          4.7        9.3 
           Unemployed...................................................     2,336      2,815      3,403      3,147          811       34.7 
               Looking for full-time work...............................     1,669      2,152      2,644      2,403          734       44.0 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       667        663        758        744           77       11.5 
               Unemployment rate........................................      13.8       16.1       18.0       16.4          2.7       19.4 
         Not in labor force.............................................    12,023     11,559     10,087      9,863       -2,160      -18.0 
                                                                                                                                            
                           Black or African American                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     5,645      5,650      5,656      5,662           18         .3 
         Civilian labor force...........................................     2,721      2,611      2,947      2,995          274       10.1 
               Participation rate.......................................      48.2       46.2       52.1       52.9          4.7        9.7 
           Employed.....................................................     1,991      1,848      2,034      2,060           69        3.5 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      35.3       32.7       36.0       36.4          1.1        3.2 
           Unemployed...................................................       731        763        913        935          205       28.0 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       597        620        774        772          175       29.3 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       134        143        139        163           29       21.9 
               Unemployment rate........................................      26.9       29.2       31.0       31.2          4.4       16.3 
         Not in labor force.............................................     2,923      3,039      2,709      2,667         -256       -8.8 
                                                                                                                                            
                                     Asian                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     1,506      1,507      1,508      1,500           -6        -.4 
         Civilian labor force...........................................       616        633        719        740          124       20.1 
               Participation rate.......................................      40.9       42.0       47.7       49.3          8.4       20.6 
           Employed.....................................................       537        526        585        619           82       15.2 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      35.7       34.9       38.8       41.3          5.6       15.7 
           Unemployed...................................................        79        107        134        121           42       53.0 
               Looking for full-time work...............................        56         73         94         96           40       71.4 
               Looking for part-time work...............................        23         34         41         24            2        7.5 
               Unemployment rate........................................      12.8       16.9       18.7       16.3          3.5       27.4 
         Not in labor force.............................................       889        875        789        760         -130      -14.6 
                                                                                                                                            
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                            
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     6,707      6,722      6,737      6,752           45         .7 
         Civilian labor force...........................................     3,694      3,704      3,892      4,014          319        8.6 
               Participation rate.......................................      55.1       55.1       57.8       59.4          4.4        7.9 
           Employed.....................................................     3,060      2,942      3,096      3,143           83        2.7 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      45.6       43.8       46.0       46.5           .9        2.0 
           Unemployed...................................................       634        763        796        871          237       37.3 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       485        585        639        693          208       43.0 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       150        178        156        178           28       19.0 
               Unemployment rate........................................      17.2       20.6       20.5       21.7          4.5       26.4 
         Not in labor force.............................................     3,013      3,017      2,845      2,738         -275       -9.1 
 
          1 Changes are calculated using unrounded data.
          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.  In addition, persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and,
       therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.  Data reflect revised population controls introduced with January 2009
       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 2006-2009

       (Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.)
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                      Employment status, sex, race, and                     2006 (1)      2007 (1)      2008 (1)      2009 (1)  
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                     TOTAL                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     36,989        37,443        37,506        37,586   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     24,664        24,339        24,429        23,691   
               Participation rate.......................................       66.7          65.0          65.1          63.0   
           Employed.....................................................     21,914        21,717        21,021        19,304   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       59.2          58.0          56.0          51.4   
           Unemployed...................................................      2,750         2,622         3,408         4,387   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      2,028         1,892         2,552         3,430   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        722           730           856           957   
               Unemployment rate........................................       11.2          10.8          14.0          18.5   
         Not in labor force.............................................     12,324        13,104        13,076        13,895   
                                                                                                                                
                                      Men                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     18,675        18,926        18,919        18,935   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     13,024        12,845        12,882        12,298   
               Participation rate.......................................       69.7          67.9          68.1          64.9   
           Employed.....................................................     11,568        11,421        10,946         9,880   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       61.9          60.3          57.9          52.2   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,456         1,424         1,935         2,418   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      1,152         1,059         1,483         1,973   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        303           365           453           444   
               Unemployment rate........................................       11.2          11.1          15.0          19.7   
         Not in labor force.............................................      5,651         6,081         6,037         6,637   
                                                                                                                                
                                     Women                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     18,314        18,517        18,587        18,650   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     11,641        11,494        11,547        11,393   
               Participation rate.......................................       63.6          62.1          62.1          61.1   
           Employed.....................................................     10,346        10,296        10,075         9,424   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       56.5          55.6          54.2          50.5   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,295         1,198         1,473         1,969   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        876           833         1,070         1,456   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        419           365           403           513   
               Unemployment rate........................................       11.1          10.4          12.8          17.3   
         Not in labor force.............................................      6,673         7,023         7,039         7,257   
                                                                                                                                
                                     White                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     28,736        29,012        29,012        29,010   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     20,002        19,734        19,760        19,147   
               Participation rate.......................................       69.6          68.0          68.1          66.0   
           Employed.....................................................     18,193        17,899        17,323        16,000   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       63.3          61.7          59.7          55.2   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,808         1,835         2,437         3,147   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      1,289         1,304         1,759         2,403   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        520           531           678           744   
               Unemployment rate........................................        9.0           9.3          12.3          16.4   
         Not in labor force.............................................      8,735         9,278         9,252         9,863   
                                                                                                                                
                           Black or African American                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      5,426         5,539         5,595         5,662   
         Civilian labor force...........................................      3,133         2,998         3,062         2,995   
               Participation rate.......................................       57.7          54.1          54.7          52.9   
           Employed.....................................................      2,361         2,382         2,302         2,060   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       43.5          43.0          41.2          36.4   
           Unemployed...................................................        772           616           760           935   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        617           488           647           772   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        155           128           112           163   
               Unemployment rate........................................       24.7          20.5          24.8          31.2   
         Not in labor force.............................................      2,293         2,541         2,533         2,667   

                                     Asian                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      1,474         1,511         1,516         1,500   
         Civilian labor force...........................................        687           747           767           740   
               Participation rate.......................................       46.6          49.4          50.6          49.3   
           Employed.....................................................        631           689           703           619   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       42.8          45.6          46.4          41.3   
           Unemployed...................................................         56            58            64           121   
               Looking for full-time work...............................         33            32            38            96   
               Looking for part-time work...............................         23            26            26            24   
               Unemployment rate........................................        8.2           7.7           8.4          16.3   
         Not in labor force.............................................        787           764           748           760   
                                                                                                                                
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      6,406         6,597         6,669         6,752   
         Civilian labor force...........................................      3,943         3,928         4,007         4,014   
               Participation rate.......................................       61.5          59.5          60.1          59.4   
           Employed.....................................................      3,534         3,465         3,367         3,143   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       55.2          52.5          50.5          46.5   
           Unemployed...................................................        409           464           639           871   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        287           341           487           693   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        122           123           153           178   
               Unemployment rate........................................       10.4          11.8          16.0          21.7   
         Not in labor force.............................................      2,463         2,669         2,662         2,738   

          1 Data not comparable with prior years due to revisions in the population controls.
          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.  In addition, persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of
       any race and, therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.





       Table 3.  Employed persons 16 to 24 years of age by industry, class of worker, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, 
       July 2008-2009

       (Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.)
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                      Total             White        Black or African       Asian          Hispanic or   
                                                                                         American                        Latino ethnicity
             Industry and class of worker                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                         
                                                 2008(1)  2009(1)  2008(1)  2009(1)  2008(1)  2009(1)  2008(1)  2009(1)  2008(1)  2009(1)
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
       Total employed..........................   21,021   19,304   17,323   16,000    2,302    2,060      703      619    3,367    3,143
                                                                                                                                         
         Agriculture and related industries....      418      381      412      361        1        7        1       -        68       72
         Nonagricultural industries............   20,604   18,923   16,911   15,639    2,301    2,053      702      619    3,299    3,071
           Private wage and salary workers.....   18,601   16,986   15,246   14,061    2,089    1,831      643      569    3,033    2,825
             Mining............................      107       44       95       44        4      -          3       -         3        3
             Construction......................    1,217      871    1,122      806       42       35        9       14      364      251
             Manufacturing.....................    1,390    1,068    1,171      882      106       88       63       57      296      252
               Durable goods...................      820      580      714      498       50       29       33       32      165      117
               Nondurable goods................      571      488      457      385       56       59       31       25      131      135
             Wholesale trade...................      371      321      315      273       32       29        7        5       66       57
             Retail trade......................    3,880    3,851    3,119    3,061      495      513      148      172      566      577
             Transportation and utilities......      464      413      335      322       89       66       10        8       96       95
             Information.......................      369      317      301      237       32       54       19       21       57       45
             Financial activities..............      979      823      806      702      106       74       50       31      179      140
             Professional and business services    1,659    1,350    1,355    1,097      172      145       83       49      281      233
             Education and health services.....    2,175    2,141    1,645    1,705      388      306       78       61      227      307
             Leisure and hospitality...........    4,926    4,799    4,063    4,053      550      461      127      122      691      745
             Other services....................    1,064      988      918      879       74       62       46       30      206      119
                                                                                                                                         
           Government..........................    1,538    1,588    1,247    1,297      197      175       50       47      169      188
             Federal...........................      182      201      148      133       20       35        2       12       25       28
             State.............................      505      516      385      419       72       70       27       10       56       57
             Local.............................      852      871      714      745      105       71       22       25       88      103
                                                                                                                                         
           Self-employed and unpaid family                                                                                               
          workers..............................      464      350      418      282       15       46        9        4       96       58

          1 Data not comparable with prior years due to revisions in the population controls.
          - Dash represents or rounds to zero.
          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.  In addition, persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race and,
       therefore, are classified by ethnicity as well as by race.




Last Modified Date: August 27, 2009
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