Economic News Release

Summer Youth Labor Force News Release






Technical information:  (202) 691-6378      USDL 08-1212
               http://www.bls.gov/cps/
                                            For release:  10:00 A.M. (EDT)
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902      Thursday, August 28, 2008
                                   
                                   
          EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH--SUMMER 2008


   From April to July 2008, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years 
old increased by 1.9 million to 21.0 million, the Bureau of Labor Statis-
tics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  July is the tradi-
tional summertime peak for youth employment.  This summer's increase in 
youth employment was lower than last year's 2.3 million increase.  Unem-
ployment among youth increased by 1.2 million between April and July 2008; 
this was more than twice the increase in youth unemployment during the 
same period in 2007.  (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 3.1 million to a total of 24.4 million in
July.  (See table 1.)

   The labor force participation rate for youth--the proportion of
their population working or looking for work--was 65.1 percent in July
2008, essentially the same as in July 2007 and about 12 percentage points
below its peak for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent).  Over the 
1989-2008 period, the proportion of youth enrolled in school in July
trended up; youth enrolled in school are much less likely than those
not in school to be in the labor force.
      
   The July 2008 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old
men (68.1 percent) was about the same as a year earlier, and the rate
for women (62.1 percent) was unchanged 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 15
percentage points.  Young women's July labor force participation rate
peaked in 1989 after a long-term upward trend; their rate has trended
down by about 10 percentage points since then.
      
   The July 2008 participation rates for whites (68.1 percent), blacks
(54.7 percent), and Hispanics (60.1 percent) were little changed from
a year earlier.  For all three groups, labor force participation rates
were more than 10 percentage points lower than their peak levels
reached in July 1989.  The participation rate for Asian youth in July
2008 (50.6 percent) also was little different from July 2007.  (See
table 2.)

                                  - 2 -

Employment

   In July 2008, 21.0 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed.  The
employment-population ratio for youth--the proportion of the 16- to 24-
year-old civilian noninstitutional population that was employed--was
56.0 percent, down 2.0 percentage points from July 2007.  The ratio
has fallen by about 13 percentage points since its peak in July 1989;
the steep decline from July 2007 to July 2008 may reflect, in part,
weaker labor market conditions during the summer of 2008.  (See 
table 2.)
      
   The July employment-population ratio for young men was 57.9 percent
in July 2008, down from 60.3 percent in July 2007.  The employment-
population ratios for women (54.2 percent) and whites (59.7 percent)
in July 2008 also were lower than a year earlier.  The ratios for
blacks (41.2 percent), Asians (46.4 percent), and Hispanics (50.5 per-
cent) were about unchanged.
      
   In July 2008, 23 percent of employed youth worked in the leisure
and hospitality industry (which includes food services) and 18 percent
worked in retail trade.  In addition, nearly two-fifths of employed
youth worked in education and health services, professional and busi-
ness services, government, manufacturing, and construction combined.  
(See table 3.)

Unemployment

   In July 2008, 3.4 million youth were unemployed and the youth
unemployment rate was 14.0 percent, the highest rate for July since
1992.  As with the decline in employment, the increase in youth
unemployment in the summer of 2008 partly reflected a weaker job
market.  The July 2008 unemployment rates for young men (15.0 per-
cent), women (12.8 percent), whites (12.3 percent), blacks (24.8
percent), and Hispanics (16.0 percent) increased from a year earlier.
The jobless rate for Asians (8.4 percent) was about unchanged from
July 2007.  (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 2008, 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
2008" available at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps08adj.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; TDD message referral
phone: 1-800-877-8339.
   
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 2008

       (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.............................    37,425     37,449     37,476     37,506         81        0.2 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    21,357     22,206     23,916     24,429      3,072       14.4 
               Participation rate.......................................      57.1       59.3       63.8       65.1        8.1       14.1 
           Employed.....................................................    19,161     19,254     20,466     21,021      1,860        9.7 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      51.2       51.4       54.6       56.0        4.8        9.5 
           Unemployed...................................................     2,196      2,952      3,450      3,408      1,212       55.2 
               Looking for full-time work...............................     1,501      2,083      2,533      2,552      1,051       70.1 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       695        868        917        856        160       23.0 
               Unemployment rate........................................      10.3       13.3       14.4       14.0        3.7       35.7 
         Not in labor force.............................................    16,067     15,243     13,560     13,076     -2,991      -18.6 
                                                                                                                                          
                                      Men                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    18,882     18,893     18,906     18,919         37         .2 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    11,151     11,715     12,604     12,882      1,731       15.5 
               Participation rate.......................................      59.1       62.0       66.7       68.1        9.0       15.3 
           Employed.....................................................     9,883     10,047     10,662     10,946      1,064       10.8 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      52.3       53.2       56.4       57.9        5.5       10.5 
           Unemployed...................................................     1,268      1,668      1,941      1,935        667       52.6 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       935      1,219      1,469      1,483        547       58.5 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       333        449        472        453        120       36.0 
               Unemployment rate........................................      11.4       14.2       15.4       15.0        3.7       32.1 
         Not in labor force.............................................     7,732      7,179      6,302      6,037     -1,694      -21.9 
                                                                                                                                          
                                     Women                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    18,542     18,556     18,571     18,587         44         .2 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    10,207     10,491     11,312     11,547      1,341       13.1 
               Participation rate.......................................      55.0       56.5       60.9       62.1        7.1       12.9 
           Employed.....................................................     9,278      9,207      9,804     10,075        796        8.6 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      50.0       49.6       52.8       54.2        4.2        8.3 
           Unemployed...................................................       928      1,284      1,509      1,473        544       58.6 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       566        864      1,064      1,070        504       89.1 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       362        419        445        403         40       11.1 
               Unemployment rate........................................       9.1       12.2       13.3       12.8        3.7       40.2 
         Not in labor force.............................................     8,336      8,065      7,258      7,039     -1,297      -15.6 
                                                                                                                                          
                                     White                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................    28,967     28,980     28,995     29,012         44         .2 
         Civilian labor force...........................................    17,213     17,933     19,453     19,760      2,547       14.8 
               Participation rate.......................................      59.4       61.9       67.1       68.1        8.7       14.6 
           Employed.....................................................    15,630     15,806     16,952     17,323      1,692       10.8 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      54.0       54.5       58.5       59.7        5.8       10.7 
           Unemployed...................................................     1,583      2,127      2,501      2,437        854       54.0 
               Looking for full-time work...............................     1,033      1,463      1,764      1,759        726       70.3 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       550        663        738        678        128       23.3 
               Unemployment rate........................................       9.2       11.9       12.9       12.3        3.1       34.1 
         Not in labor force.............................................    11,754     11,047      9,542      9,252     -2,502      -21.3 
                                                                                                                                          
                           Black or African American                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     5,572      5,579      5,587      5,595         23         .4 
         Civilian labor force...........................................     2,673      2,778      2,934      3,062        389       14.5 
               Participation rate.......................................      48.0       49.8       52.5       54.7        6.7       14.1 
           Employed.....................................................     2,236      2,174      2,227      2,302         67        3.0 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      40.1       39.0       39.9       41.2        1.0        2.5 
           Unemployed...................................................       437        604        707        760        322       73.7 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       335        470        602        647        312       93.1 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       102        134        105        112         10       10.0 
               Unemployment rate........................................      16.4       21.8       24.1       24.8        8.4       51.6 
         Not in labor force.............................................     2,898      2,801      2,653      2,533       -365      -12.6 
                                                                                                                                          
                                     Asian                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     1,489      1,498      1,526      1,516         27        1.8 
         Civilian labor force...........................................       650        693        722        767        118       18.1 
               Participation rate.......................................      43.6       46.3       47.3       50.6        7.0       16.0 
           Employed.....................................................       609        624        628        703         94       15.5 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      40.9       41.7       41.1       46.4        5.5       13.4 
           Unemployed...................................................        41         69         94         64         23       57.0 
               Looking for full-time work...............................        33         46         57         38          5       13.6 
               Looking for part-time work...............................         8         23         37         26         19      246.8 
               Unemployment rate........................................       6.3        9.9       13.1        8.4        2.1       32.9 
         Not in labor force.............................................       839        805        804        748        -91      -10.8 
                                                                                                                                          
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                          
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     6,622      6,637      6,653      6,669         47         .7 
         Civilian labor force...........................................     3,800      3,817      3,994      4,007        206        5.4 
               Participation rate.......................................      57.4       57.5       60.0       60.1        2.7        4.7 
           Employed.....................................................     3,313      3,310      3,389      3,367         54        1.6 
               Employment-population ratio..............................      50.0       49.9       50.9       50.5         .5         .9 
           Unemployed...................................................       487        508        605        639        152       31.2 
               Looking for full-time work...............................       346        376        442        487        140       40.5 
               Looking for part-time work...............................       141        131        163        153         12        8.2 
               Unemployment rate........................................      12.8       13.3       15.1       16.0        3.1       24.4 
         Not in labor force.............................................     2,821      2,820      2,659      2,662       -159       -5.7 

          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.  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 2005-2008

       (Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.)
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                      Employment status, sex, race, and                       2005          2006          2007          2008    
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                     TOTAL                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     36,681        36,989        37,443        37,506   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     24,436        24,664        24,339        24,429   
               Participation rate.......................................       66.6          66.7          65.0          65.1   
           Employed.....................................................     21,749        21,914        21,717        21,021   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       59.3          59.2          58.0          56.0   
           Unemployed...................................................      2,688         2,750         2,622         3,408   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      1,916         2,028         1,892         2,552   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        771           722           730           856   
               Unemployment rate........................................       11.0          11.2          10.8          14.0   
         Not in labor force.............................................     12,244        12,324        13,104        13,076   
                                                                                                                                
                                      Men                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     18,501        18,675        18,926        18,919   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     12,871        13,024        12,845        12,882   
               Participation rate.......................................       69.6          69.7          67.9          68.1   
           Employed.....................................................     11,393        11,568        11,421        10,946   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       61.6          61.9          60.3          57.9   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,478         1,456         1,424         1,935   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      1,077         1,152         1,059         1,483   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        401           303           365           453   
               Unemployment rate........................................       11.5          11.2          11.1          15.0   
         Not in labor force.............................................      5,630         5,651         6,081         6,037   
                                                                                                                                
                                     Women                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     18,180        18,314        18,517        18,587   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     11,566        11,641        11,494        11,547   
               Participation rate.......................................       63.6          63.6          62.1          62.1   
           Employed.....................................................     10,356        10,346        10,296        10,075   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       57.0          56.5          55.6          54.2   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,209         1,295         1,198         1,473   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        839           876           833         1,070   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        370           419           365           403   
               Unemployment rate........................................       10.5          11.1          10.4          12.8   
         Not in labor force.............................................      6,614         6,673         7,023         7,039   
                                                                                                                                
                                     White                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................     28,566        28,736        29,012        29,012   
         Civilian labor force...........................................     19,712        20,002        19,734        19,760   
               Participation rate.......................................       69.0          69.6          68.0          68.1   
           Employed.....................................................     17,944        18,193        17,899        17,323   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       62.8          63.3          61.7          59.7   
           Unemployed...................................................      1,768         1,808         1,835         2,437   
               Looking for full-time work...............................      1,234         1,289         1,304         1,759   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        533           520           531           678   
               Unemployment rate........................................        9.0           9.0           9.3          12.3   
         Not in labor force.............................................      8,854         8,735         9,278         9,252   
                                                                                                                                
                           Black or African American                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      5,317         5,426         5,539         5,595   
         Civilian labor force...........................................      3,097         3,133         2,998         3,062   
               Participation rate.......................................       58.3          57.7          54.1          54.7   
           Employed.....................................................      2,378         2,361         2,382         2,302   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       44.7          43.5          43.0          41.2   
           Unemployed...................................................        719           772           616           760   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        544           617           488           647   
               Looking for part-time work...............................        176           155           128           112   
               Unemployment rate........................................       23.2          24.7          20.5          24.8   
         Not in labor force.............................................      2,220         2,293         2,541         2,533   
                                                                                                                                
                                     Asian                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      1,497         1,474         1,511         1,516   
         Civilian labor force...........................................        794           687           747           767   
               Participation rate.......................................       53.1          46.6          49.4          50.6   
           Employed.....................................................        699           631           689           703   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       46.7          42.8          45.6          46.4   
           Unemployed...................................................         95            56            58            64   
               Looking for full-time work...............................         58            33            32            38   
               Looking for part-time work...............................         38            23            26            26   
               Unemployment rate........................................       12.0           8.2           7.7           8.4   
         Not in labor force.............................................        702           787           764           748   
                                                                                                                                
                         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Civilian noninstitutional population.............................      6,335         6,406         6,597         6,669   
         Civilian labor force...........................................      3,800         3,943         3,928         4,007   
               Participation rate.......................................       60.0          61.5          59.5          60.1   
           Employed.....................................................      3,428         3,534         3,465         3,367   
               Employment-population ratio..............................       54.1          55.2          52.5          50.5   
           Unemployed...................................................        372           409           464           639   
               Looking for full-time work...............................        292           287           341           487   
               Looking for part-time work...............................         80           122           123           153   
               Unemployment rate........................................        9.8          10.4          11.8          16.0   
         Not in labor force.............................................      2,536         2,463         2,669         2,662   

          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 2007-2008

       (Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.)
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                              
                                                           Total             White        Black or African       Asian          Hispanic or   
                                                                                              American                        Latino ethnicity
               Industry and class of worker                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                              
                                                        2007     2008     2007     2008     2007     2008     2007     2008     2007     2008 
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                              
       Total employed...............................   21,717   21,021   17,899   17,323    2,382    2,302      689      703    3,465    3,367
                                                                                                                                              
         Agriculture and related industries.........      345      418      326      412        4        1        6        1       97       68
         Nonagricultural industries.................   21,372   20,604   17,574   16,911    2,377    2,301      683      702    3,368    3,299
           Private wage and salary workers..........   19,375   18,601   15,975   15,246    2,107    2,089      625      643    3,070    3,033
             Mining.................................       97      107       91       95        4        4       -         3       10        3
             Construction...........................    1,558    1,217    1,439    1,122       56       42        5        9      477      364
             Manufacturing..........................    1,398    1,390    1,145    1,171      154      106       71       63      224      296
               Durable goods........................      818      820      655      714       94       50       47       33       71      165
               Nondurable goods.....................      580      571      491      457       61       56       23       31      153      131
             Wholesale trade........................      442      371      408      315       26       32        0        7      107       66
             Retail trade...........................    4,242    3,880    3,456    3,119      505      495      132      148      589      566
             Transportation and utilities...........      479      464      380      335       71       89       14       10       90       96
             Information............................      384      369      289      301       49       32       19       19       54       57
             Financial activities...................      980      979      784      806      108      106       57       50      171      179
             Professional and business services.....    1,672    1,659    1,355    1,355      208      172       62       83      259      281
             Education and health services..........    2,238    2,175    1,749    1,645      353      388       69       78      308      227
             Leisure and hospitality................    4,710    4,926    3,861    4,063      490      550      173      127      612      691
             Other services.........................    1,174    1,064    1,019      918       82       74       23       46      168      206
                                                                                                                                              
           Government...............................    1,607    1,538    1,267    1,247      234      197       50       50      196      169
             Federal................................      171      182      127      148       25       20       13        2       16       25
             State..................................      505      505      378      385       86       72       21       27       67       56
             Local..................................      930      852      763      714      123      105       16       22      113       88
                                                                                                                                              
           Self-employed and unpaid family workers..      390      464      332      418       36       15        9        9      102       96

          - 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.  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 28, 2008
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