Economic News Release

Summer Youth Labor Force News Release


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, August 27, 2010                    USDL-10-1175

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 2010


From April to July 2010, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old rose by
1.8 million to 18.6 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
This year, the share of young people who were employed in July was 48.9 percent,
the lowest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948. (The month
of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) Unemployment among
youth increased by 571,000 between April and July , about half as much as in
each of the two previous summers. (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 employ-
ment. This summer, the youth labor force grew by 2.4 million, or 11.5 percent,
to a total of 22.9 million in July. (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth--the proportion of the popula-
tion 16 to 24 years old working or looking for work--was 60.5 percent in July, 
the lowest July rate on record. The July 2010 rate was down by 2.5 percent-
age points from July 2009 and 17.0 percentage points below the peak for that
month in 1989 (77.5 percent).

The July labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men, at 62.7 
percent, was down by 2.2 percentage points from a year earlier, and the rate for
women, at 58.1 percent, was down by 3.0 percentage points over the year. For
several decades prior to 1989, the July labor force participation rate for young
men showed no clear trend, ranging from 81 to 86 percent. Since July 1989,
however, their participation rate for the month 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; their rate
has since fallen by about 14 percentage points.

The July participation rate for whites declined by 2.8 percentage points from
a year earlier, to 63.2 percent. The rate for blacks, at 51.6 percent, was down
slightly, and the rate for Hispanics, at 56.1 percent, decreased by 3.3 percent-
age points. For all three groups, labor force participation rates were substan-
tially lower than their peaks reached in July 1989. The participation rate for Asian 
youth was 48.3 percent in July 2010, little changed from July 2009. (See table 2.)

Employment

In July, 18.6 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed. This summer's increase
in youth employment was slightly larger than last year's (1.8 million vs.1.6 million)
and about the same as in 2008. The employment-population ratio for youth--the pro-
portion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population that was em-
ployed--was 48.9 percent in July, down 2.5 percentage points from July 2009. The 
ratio has dropped by about 20 percentage points since its peak in July 1989. July 
2010 marks the first time in the history of the series that less than half of all 
youth 16 to 24 years old were employed in that month. The sharp decline in recent 
years reflects continued weak labor market conditions experienced during the reces-
sion that began in December 2007. (See table 2.)

The employment-population ratio for young men was 49.9 percent in July, down 
from 52.2 percent in July 2009. The employment-population ratios for women (48.0 
percent), whites (53.0 percent), and Hispanics (43.6 percent) in July 2010 also
were substantially lower than a year earlier.

In July, 25 percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality
sector (which includes food services), the same as a year earlier. Another 20 
percent were employed in the retail trade industry, also the same proportion as
a year earlier. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

In July 2010, 4.4 million youth were unemployed, essentially the same as in July 
2009. The youth unemployment rate edged up over the year to 19.1 percent in July
2010, the highest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948. In
recent years, higher youth unemployment reflects the weak job market. Among major
demographic groups, the unemployment rates for young men (20.5 percent),
blacks (33.4 percent), and Asians (21.6 percent) continued to trend up from a
year earlier; the jobless rates for young women (17.5 percent), whites 
(16.2 percent), and Hispanics (22.1 percent) were virtually unchanged.
(See table 2.)





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 of each year, data reflect revised population controls
used in the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available
on the BLS Web site 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 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.
   
   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and infor-
mation on estimating standard errors is available on the BLS Web site 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 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. Persons are classified
using the 2007 Census industry classification system. The class-of-worker break-
down assigns workers to the following categories: Private and government wage
and salary workers, 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 unit. Self-employed persons are those who
work for profit or fees in their own business, profession, trade, or farm. 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 2010
[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

37,951 37,946 37,944 37,944 -7 0.0

Civilian labor force

20,567 20,894 22,401 22,938 2,371 11.5

Participation rate

54.2 55.1 59.0 60.5 6.3 11.6

Employed

16,764 17,039 17,920 18,564 1,800 10.7

Employment-population ratio

44.2 44.9 47.2 48.9 4.7 10.6

Unemployed

3,803 3,854 4,481 4,374 571 15.0

Looking for full-time work

2,779 2,877 3,454 3,374 595 21.4

Looking for part-time work

1,024 977 1,027 1,000 -24 -2.3

Unemployment rate

18.5 18.4 20.0 19.1 0.6 3.2

Not in labor force

17,384 17,052 15,543 15,006 -2,378 -13.7

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,132 19,128 19,127 19,126 -6 0.0

Civilian labor force

10,727 10,817 11,710 11,997 1,270 11.8

Participation rate

56.1 56.5 61.2 62.7 6.6 11.8

Employed

8,407 8,676 9,122 9,537 1,130 13.4

Employment-population ratio

43.9 45.4 47.7 49.9 6.0 13.7

Unemployed

2,319 2,140 2,587 2,460 141 6.1

Looking for full-time work

1,816 1,686 2,088 1,949 133 7.3

Looking for part-time work

503 455 499 510 7 1.4

Unemployment rate

21.6 19.8 22.1 20.5 -1.1 -5.1

Not in labor force

8,405 8,312 7,417 7,129 -1,276 -15.2

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,819 18,818 18,818 18,819 0 0.0

Civilian labor force

9,840 10,077 10,692 10,942 1,102 11.2

Participation rate

52.3 53.6 56.8 58.1 5.8 11.1

Employed

8,357 8,363 8,798 9,027 670 8.0

Employment-population ratio

44.4 44.4 46.8 48.0 3.6 8.1

Unemployed

1,483 1,714 1,894 1,914 431 29.1

Looking for full-time work

963 1,191 1,366 1,425 462 48.0

Looking for part-time work

521 523 527 489 -32 -6.1

Unemployment rate

15.1 17.0 17.7 17.5 2.4 15.9

Not in labor force

8,979 8,741 8,126 7,877 -1,102 -12.3

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

29,187 29,177 29,170 29,164 -23 -0.1

Civilian labor force

16,479 16,773 17,999 18,441 1,962 11.9

Participation rate

56.5 57.5 61.7 63.2 6.7 11.9

Employed

13,795 13,946 14,743 15,455 1,660 12.0

Employment-population ratio

47.3 47.8 50.5 53.0 5.7 12.1

Unemployed

2,684 2,827 3,256 2,987 303 11.3

Looking for full-time work

1,900 2,049 2,445 2,253 353 18.6

Looking for part-time work

784 778 811 733 -51 -6.5

Unemployment rate

16.3 16.9 18.1 16.2 -0.1 -0.6

Not in labor force

12,708 12,404 11,171 10,722 -1,986 -15.6

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,751 5,752 5,754 5,756 5 0.1

Civilian labor force

2,706 2,749 2,901 2,972 266 9.8

Participation rate

47.1 47.8 50.4 51.6 4.5 9.6

Employed

1,878 2,008 1,998 1,980 102 5.4

Employment-population ratio

32.6 34.9 34.7 34.4 1.8 5.5

Unemployed

829 742 903 992 163 19.7

Looking for full-time work

647 593 759 843 196 30.3

Looking for part-time work

182 149 144 149 -33 -18.1

Unemployment rate

30.6 27.0 31.1 33.4 2.8 9.2

Not in labor force

3,044 3,002 2,853 2,783 -261 -8.6

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,592 1,602 1,588 1,576 -16 -1.0

Civilian labor force

665 640 714 762 97 14.6

Participation rate

41.8 39.9 45.0 48.3 6.5 15.6

Employed

573 544 597 597 24 4.2

Employment-population ratio

36.0 34.0 37.6 37.9 1.9 5.3

Unemployed

92 95 117 165 73 79.3

Looking for full-time work

64 70 75 122 58 90.6

Looking for part-time work

28 25 42 42 14 50.0

Unemployment rate

13.8 14.9 16.4 21.6 7.8 56.5

Not in labor force

927 962 874 814 -113 -12.2

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

7,087 7,100 7,114 7,128 41 0.6

Civilian labor force

3,727 3,715 3,825 3,995 268 7.2

Participation rate

52.6 52.3 53.8 56.1 3.5 6.7

Employed

2,955 3,008 2,929 3,111 156 5.3

Employment-population ratio

41.7 42.4 41.2 43.6 1.9 4.6

Unemployed

773 708 896 884 111 14.4

Looking for full-time work

591 547 732 703 112 19.0

Looking for part-time work

182 161 164 181 -1 -0.5

Unemployment rate

20.7 19.0 23.4 22.1 1.4 6.8

Not in labor force

3,360 3,385 3,289 3,133 -227 -6.8

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 2007-2010
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
2007 2008 2009 2010

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

37,443 37,506 37,586 37,944

Civilian labor force

24,339 24,429 23,691 22,938

Participation rate

65.0 65.1 63.0 60.5

Employed

21,717 21,021 19,304 18,564

Employment-population ratio

58.0 56.0 51.4 48.9

Unemployed

2,622 3,408 4,387 4,374

Looking for full-time work

1,892 2,552 3,430 3,374

Looking for part-time work

730 856 957 1,000

Unemployment rate

10.8 14.0 18.5 19.1

Not in labor force

13,104 13,076 13,895 15,006

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,926 18,919 18,935 19,126

Civilian labor force

12,845 12,882 12,298 11,997

Participation rate

67.9 68.1 64.9 62.7

Employed

11,421 10,946 9,880 9,537

Employment-population ratio

60.3 57.9 52.2 49.9

Unemployed

1,424 1,935 2,418 2,460

Looking for full-time work

1,059 1,483 1,973 1,949

Looking for part-time work

365 453 444 510

Unemployment rate

11.1 15.0 19.7 20.5

Not in labor force

6,081 6,037 6,637 7,129

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

18,517 18,587 18,650 18,819

Civilian labor force

11,494 11,547 11,393 10,942

Participation rate

62.1 62.1 61.1 58.1

Employed

10,296 10,075 9,424 9,027

Employment-population ratio

55.6 54.2 50.5 48.0

Unemployed

1,198 1,473 1,969 1,914

Looking for full-time work

833 1,070 1,456 1,425

Looking for part-time work

365 403 513 489

Unemployment rate

10.4 12.8 17.3 17.5

Not in labor force

7,023 7,039 7,257 7,877

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

29,012 29,012 29,010 29,164

Civilian labor force

19,734 19,760 19,147 18,441

Participation rate

68.0 68.1 66.0 63.2

Employed

17,899 17,323 16,000 15,455

Employment-population ratio

61.7 59.7 55.2 53.0

Unemployed

1,835 2,437 3,147 2,987

Looking for full-time work

1,304 1,759 2,403 2,253

Looking for part-time work

531 678 744 733

Unemployment rate

9.3 12.3 16.4 16.2

Not in labor force

9,278 9,252 9,863 10,722

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,539 5,595 5,662 5,756

Civilian labor force

2,998 3,062 2,995 2,972

Participation rate

54.1 54.7 52.9 51.6

Employed

2,382 2,302 2,060 1,980

Employment-population ratio

43.0 41.2 36.4 34.4

Unemployed

616 760 935 992

Looking for full-time work

488 647 772 843

Looking for part-time work

128 112 163 149

Unemployment rate

20.5 24.8 31.2 33.4

Not in labor force

2,541 2,533 2,667 2,783

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,511 1,516 1,500 1,576

Civilian labor force

747 767 740 762

Participation rate

49.4 50.6 49.3 48.3

Employed

689 703 619 597

Employment-population ratio

45.6 46.4 41.3 37.9

Unemployed

58 64 121 165

Looking for full-time work

32 38 96 122

Looking for part-time work

26 26 24 42

Unemployment rate

7.7 8.4 16.3 21.6

Not in labor force

764 748 760 814

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

6,597 6,669 6,752 7,128

Civilian labor force

3,928 4,007 4,014 3,995

Participation rate

59.5 60.1 59.4 56.1

Employed

3,465 3,367 3,143 3,111

Employment-population ratio

52.5 50.5 46.5 43.6

Unemployed

464 639 871 884

Looking for full-time work

341 487 693 703

Looking for part-time work

123 153 178 181

Unemployment rate

11.8 16.0 21.7 22.1

Not in labor force

2,669 2,662 2,738 3,133

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 2009-2010
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Industry and class of worker Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010

Total employed

19,304 18,564 16,000 15,455 2,060 1,980 619 597 3,143 3,111

Agriculture and related industries

381 372 361 358 7 10 0 0 72 97

Nonagricultural industries

18,923 18,192 15,639 15,097 2,053 1,970 619 597 3,071 3,015

Private wage and salary workers

16,986 16,311 14,061 13,528 1,831 1,782 569 525 2,825 2,709

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

44 63 44 63 0 0 0 0 3 12

Construction

871 819 806 770 35 33 14 0 251 257

Manufacturing

1,068 1,015 882 849 88 91 57 51 252 213

Durable goods

580 598 498 507 29 44 32 27 117 113

Nondurable goods

488 417 385 342 59 47 25 23 135 100

Wholesale trade

321 297 273 249 29 29 5 7 57 54

Retail trade

3,851 3,659 3,061 2,959 513 473 172 126 577 495

Transportation and utilities

413 355 322 301 66 44 8 6 95 63

Information

317 361 237 254 54 59 21 34 45 66

Financial activities

823 794 702 686 74 42 31 48 140 117

Professional and business services

1,350 1,395 1,097 1,130 145 166 49 48 233 282

Education and health services

2,141 2,169 1,705 1,692 306 337 61 79 307 253

Leisure and hospitality

4,799 4,595 4,053 3,879 461 449 122 106 745 759

Other services

988 789 879 697 62 58 30 21 119 138

Government wage and salary workers

1,588 1,433 1,297 1,172 175 160 47 57 188 224

Federal

201 221 133 158 35 50 12 4 28 25

State

516 443 419 373 70 36 10 21 57 63

Local

871 769 745 642 71 74 25 32 103 136

Self-employed and unpaid family workers

350 447 282 397 46 28 4 15 58 82

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 27, 2010
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