Economic News Release

Summer Youth Labor Force News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, August 18, 2015                  USDL-15-1590

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 2015


From April to July 2015, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased 
by 2.1 million to 20.3 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
This year, 52.7 percent of young people were employed in July, little changed from 
a year earlier. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth 
employment.) Unemployment among youth rose by 654,000 from April to July 2015, 
compared with an increase of 913,000 for the same period in 2014. (Because this 
analysis focuses on the seasonal changes in youth employment and unemployment that 
occur each spring and summer, the data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Labor force

The youth labor force--16- to 24-year-olds working or actively looking for work--grows 
sharply between April and July each year. During these months, large numbers of 
high school and college students search for or take summer jobs, and many graduates 
enter the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment. This summer, the 
youth labor force grew by 2.7 million, or 13.5 percent, to a total of 23.2 million in 
July. (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth was 60.0 percent in July, little 
changed from a year earlier. (The labor force participation rate is the proportion of 
the civilian noninstitutional population that is working or looking and available for
work.) The summer labor force participation rate of youth has held fairly steady since
July 2010, after generally trending downward for many years. The summer youth labor
force participation rate peaked at 77.5 percent in July 1989. (See table 2.)

The July 2015 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 61.8 
percent, higher than the rate for young women at 58.2 percent. The rate for men 
declined from last July, while the rate for women was little changed. 

The youth labor force participation rate was highest for whites, at 62.3 percent in 
July 2015. The rate was 56.4 percent for blacks, 44.6 percent for Asians, and 56.2 
percent for Hispanics. The rate for blacks rose by 3.5 percentage points from the 
previous July, while the rates for whites, Asians, and Hispanics showed little or 
no change.   

Employment

In July 2015, there were 20.3 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds, not much different 
from the summer before. Between April and July 2015, the number of employed youth 
rose by 2.1 million, in line with the increase for the prior 3 summers. The employment-
population ratio for youth in July 2015--the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old 
civilian noninstitutional population with a job--was 52.7 percent, little changed from 
the year before. (See tables 1 and 2.)

The employment-population ratios for young women (51.4 percent), blacks (44.7 percent), 
and Hispanics (49.1 percent) were higher in July 2015 than a year earlier. The ratios 
for young men (53.9 percent), whites (55.8 percent), and Asians (39.8 percent) showed 
little change from last July.

In July 2015, 27 percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality 
industry (which includes food services), 20 percent worked in the retail trade industry, 
and another 11 percent worked in education and health services. (See table 3.)

Unemployment

The number of unemployed youth was 2.8 million in July 2015, down from 3.4 million a 
year earlier. The youth unemployment rate was 12.2 percent in July 2015, 2.1 percentage 
points less than a year before. Among the major demographic groups, July unemployment 
rates were lower than the prior year for young men (12.7 percent), women (11.7 percent), 
whites (10.3 percent), blacks (20.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent). The youth 
jobless rate changed little for Asians (10.7 percent). (See table 2.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS),
a national sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households conducted monthly for the
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data in this release
relate to the employment status of youth (16- to 24-year-olds) during the months of
April-July. This period was selected as being the most representative time frame in
which to measure the full summertime transition from school to work. July is the peak
summer month of youth employment.

   Beginning in January of each year, data reflect revised population controls used in
the CPS. Additional information about population controls is available on the BLS
website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals
upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Reliability of the estimates

   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 component
of this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling
error, and its variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is
about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample
will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because
of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of
confidence.

   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for
many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability to
obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of
respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.

   More information on the reliability of data from the CPS and estimating standard errors
is available online at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

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

   Employed. 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 member's business. Persons who
were temporarily absent from their jobs because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor
dispute, or another reason also are counted as employed.

   Unemployed. The unemployed are those who had no employment during the reference week,
were available for work at that time, and had made specific efforts to find employment
sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. 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. Looking for full-time work refers to 35 hours or more
per week; part-time work refers to fewer than 35 hours per week.

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

   Unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a
percent of the civilian labor force.

   Labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate is the labor force
as a percent of the population.

   Employment-population ratio. The employment-population ratio is the employed as a
percent of the population.

   Not in the labor force. Included in this group are all persons in the civilian
noninstitutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed.

   Industry and class of worker. This information applies to the job held during the
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 2012 Census
industry classification system. The class-of-worker breakdown assigns workers to the
following categories: Private and government wage and salary workers, unincorporated
self-employed workers, and unpaid family workers.

   Wage and salary workers. Included in this group are persons who receive wages, salary,
commissions, tips, or pay in kind from a private employer or from a government entity.

   Self-employed workers. Included in this group are those who work for profit or fees
in their own unincorporated business, profession, trade, or farm. Only unincorporated
self-employed are included in the self-employed category. Self-employed persons whose
businesses are incorporated are included with private wage and salary workers.

   Unpaid family workers. Included in this group are persons working without pay for
15 hours a week or more on a farm or in a 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 2015
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
April May June July April-July changes
Number Percent

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

38,654 38,630 38,609 38,589 -65 -0.2

Civilian labor force

20,416 21,342 22,926 23,162 2,746 13.5

Participation rate

52.8 55.2 59.4 60.0 7.2 13.6

Employed

18,241 18,709 19,789 20,333 2,092 11.5

Employment-population ratio

47.2 48.4 51.3 52.7 5.5 11.7

Unemployed

2,175 2,633 3,138 2,829 654 30.1

Looking for full-time work

1,527 1,969 2,309 2,134 607 39.8

Looking for part-time work

648 664 829 695 47 7.3

Unemployment rate

10.7 12.3 13.7 12.2 1.5 14.0

Not in labor force

18,238 17,288 15,682 15,426 -2,812 -15.4

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,473 19,462 19,451 19,442 -31 -0.2

Civilian labor force

10,508 11,069 11,766 12,011 1,503 14.3

Participation rate

54.0 56.9 60.5 61.8 7.8 14.4

Employed

9,298 9,569 10,005 10,488 1,190 12.8

Employment-population ratio

47.7 49.2 51.4 53.9 6.2 13.0

Unemployed

1,210 1,501 1,761 1,523 313 25.9

Looking for full-time work

865 1,155 1,320 1,195 330 38.2

Looking for part-time work

346 345 441 328 -18 -5.2

Unemployment rate

11.5 13.6 15.0 12.7 1.2 10.4

Not in labor force

8,966 8,392 7,686 7,431 -1,535 -17.1

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,180 19,168 19,157 19,147 -33 -0.2

Civilian labor force

9,908 10,272 11,161 11,151 1,243 12.5

Participation rate

51.7 53.6 58.3 58.2 6.5 12.6

Employed

8,943 9,140 9,784 9,846 903 10.1

Employment-population ratio

46.6 47.7 51.1 51.4 4.8 10.3

Unemployed

965 1,132 1,377 1,306 341 35.3

Looking for full-time work

662 814 989 939 277 41.8

Looking for part-time work

303 318 388 367 64 21.1

Unemployment rate

9.7 11.0 12.3 11.7 2.0 20.6

Not in labor force

9,272 8,896 7,997 7,996 -1,276 -13.8

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,551 28,529 28,508 28,488 -63 -0.2

Civilian labor force

15,591 16,291 17,605 17,735 2,144 13.8

Participation rate

54.6 57.1 61.8 62.3 7.7 14.1

Employed

14,110 14,576 15,542 15,903 1,793 12.7

Employment-population ratio

49.4 51.1 54.5 55.8 6.4 13.0

Unemployed

1,481 1,715 2,064 1,832 351 23.7

Looking for full-time work

1,024 1,238 1,447 1,308 284 27.7

Looking for part-time work

457 477 617 524 67 14.7

Unemployment rate

9.5 10.5 11.7 10.3 0.8 8.4

Not in labor force

12,961 12,238 10,903 10,754 -2,207 -17.0

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,935 5,928 5,922 5,916 -19 -0.3

Civilian labor force

2,939 3,099 3,260 3,337 398 13.5

Participation rate

49.5 52.3 55.1 56.4 6.9 13.9

Employed

2,476 2,457 2,497 2,645 169 6.8

Employment-population ratio

41.7 41.4 42.2 44.7 3.0 7.2

Unemployed

463 642 763 691 228 49.2

Looking for full-time work

359 525 615 604 245 68.2

Looking for part-time work

105 117 148 87 -18 -17.1

Unemployment rate

15.8 20.7 23.4 20.7 4.9 31.0

Not in labor force

2,996 2,829 2,662 2,580 -416 -13.9

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

2,140 2,170 2,170 2,148 8 0.4

Civilian labor force

841 883 951 957 116 13.8

Participation rate

39.3 40.7 43.8 44.6 5.3 13.5

Employed

758 772 832 855 97 12.8

Employment-population ratio

35.4 35.6 38.4 39.8 4.4 12.4

Unemployed

83 111 119 102 19 22.9

Looking for full-time work

54 70 97 68 14 25.9

Looking for part-time work

30 41 22 34 4 13.3

Unemployment rate

9.9 12.5 12.5 10.7 0.8 8.1

Not in labor force

1,300 1,287 1,219 1,191 -109 -8.4

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,386 8,392 8,399 8,406 20 0.2

Civilian labor force

4,397 4,448 4,710 4,728 331 7.5

Participation rate

52.4 53.0 56.1 56.2 3.8 7.3

Employed

3,921 3,910 4,003 4,127 206 5.3

Employment-population ratio

46.8 46.6 47.7 49.1 2.3 4.9

Unemployed

475 538 707 601 126 26.5

Looking for full-time work

370 425 533 458 88 23.8

Looking for part-time work

105 112 174 143 38 36.2

Unemployment rate

10.8 12.1 15.0 12.7 1.9 17.6

Not in labor force

3,989 3,944 3,690 3,679 -310 -7.8

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 2012-2015
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Employment status, sex, race, and
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2012
July
2013
July
2014
July
2015

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

38,799 38,861 38,735 38,589

Civilian labor force

23,472 23,506 23,437 23,162

Participation rate

60.5 60.5 60.5 60.0

Employed

19,461 19,684 20,085 20,333

Employment-population ratio

50.2 50.7 51.9 52.7

Unemployed

4,011 3,821 3,353 2,829

Looking for full-time work

3,074 2,819 2,460 2,134

Looking for part-time work

937 1,002 893 695

Unemployment rate

17.1 16.3 14.3 12.2

Not in labor force

15,327 15,355 15,298 15,426

Men

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,554 19,587 19,527 19,442

Civilian labor force

12,355 12,283 12,335 12,011

Participation rate

63.2 62.7 63.2 61.8

Employed

10,140 10,127 10,470 10,488

Employment-population ratio

51.9 51.7 53.6 53.9

Unemployed

2,215 2,156 1,865 1,523

Looking for full-time work

1,785 1,665 1,437 1,195

Looking for part-time work

430 491 428 328

Unemployment rate

17.9 17.6 15.1 12.7

Not in labor force

7,199 7,303 7,191 7,431

Women

Civilian noninstitutional population

19,245 19,274 19,208 19,147

Civilian labor force

11,117 11,223 11,102 11,151

Participation rate

57.8 58.2 57.8 58.2

Employed

9,321 9,557 9,614 9,846

Employment-population ratio

48.4 49.6 50.1 51.4

Unemployed

1,796 1,665 1,488 1,306

Looking for full-time work

1,289 1,154 1,023 939

Looking for part-time work

507 511 465 367

Unemployment rate

16.2 14.8 13.4 11.7

Not in labor force

8,128 8,052 8,106 7,996

White

Civilian noninstitutional population

28,956 28,866 28,718 28,488

Civilian labor force

18,213 18,205 18,137 17,735

Participation rate

62.9 63.1 63.2 62.3

Employed

15,498 15,679 15,917 15,903

Employment-population ratio

53.5 54.3 55.4 55.8

Unemployed

2,715 2,525 2,220 1,832

Looking for full-time work

2,019 1,814 1,612 1,308

Looking for part-time work

696 711 607 524

Unemployment rate

14.9 13.9 12.2 10.3

Not in labor force

10,743 10,661 10,581 10,754

Black or African American

Civilian noninstitutional population

5,971 5,997 5,973 5,916

Civilian labor force

3,256 3,225 3,160 3,337

Participation rate

54.5 53.8 52.9 56.4

Employed

2,323 2,315 2,376 2,645

Employment-population ratio

38.9 38.6 39.8 44.7

Unemployed

933 910 784 691

Looking for full-time work

783 771 591 604

Looking for part-time work

150 139 192 87

Unemployment rate

28.6 28.2 24.8 20.7

Not in labor force

2,715 2,772 2,813 2,580

Asian

Civilian noninstitutional population

1,922 2,028 2,044 2,148

Civilian labor force

839 934 936 957

Participation rate

43.7 46.1 45.8 44.6

Employed

718 794 834 855

Employment-population ratio

37.4 39.2 40.8 39.8

Unemployed

121 140 102 102

Looking for full-time work

83 81 70 68

Looking for part-time work

38 59 32 34

Unemployment rate

14.4 15.0 10.9 10.7

Not in labor force

1,083 1,094 1,109 1,191

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

8,164 8,229 8,313 8,406

Civilian labor force

4,658 4,756 4,675 4,728

Participation rate

57.1 57.8 56.2 56.2

Employed

3,799 3,897 3,903 4,127

Employment-population ratio

46.5 47.4 47.0 49.1

Unemployed

860 859 772 601

Looking for full-time work

698 622 560 458

Looking for part-time work

162 238 212 143

Unemployment rate

18.5 18.1 16.5 12.7

Not in labor force

3,506 3,473 3,637 3,679

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 2014-2015
[Numbers in thousands. Data are not seasonally adjusted.]
Industry and class of worker Total White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
July
2014
July
2015
July
2014
July
2015
July
2014
July
2015
July
2014
July
2015
July
2014
July
2015

Total employed

20,085 20,333 15,917 15,903 2,376 2,645 834 855 3,903 4,127

Agriculture and related industries

353 309 340 294 7 7 0 1 86 47

Nonagricultural industries

19,732 20,024 15,577 15,609 2,369 2,638 834 853 3,817 4,079

Private wage and salary workers(1)

18,052 18,223 14,207 14,169 2,175 2,418 774 791 3,551 3,790

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

126 75 118 68 4 0 4 3 28 9

Construction

879 883 768 799 39 36 19 1 269 267

Manufacturing

1,328 1,385 1,094 1,133 120 162 69 46 277 322

Durable goods

813 882 692 726 51 104 42 33 140 173

Nondurable goods

516 504 402 406 69 58 27 14 137 149

Wholesale trade

338 277 287 228 22 24 20 12 82 94

Retail trade

3,843 4,005 2,872 2,902 577 680 175 206 763 785

Transportation and utilities

516 447 376 337 100 73 11 13 120 133

Information

341 288 278 221 25 30 16 30 74 52

Financial activities

760 725 617 571 73 93 35 39 134 180

Professional and business services

1,632 1,547 1,329 1,228 151 158 97 75 347 332

Education and health services

2,142 2,236 1,611 1,664 312 331 142 137 383 368

Leisure and hospitality

5,078 5,437 3,976 4,234 635 762 161 196 902 1,098

Other services

1,068 918 883 784 116 68 26 33 174 150

Government wage and salary workers

1,310 1,403 1,056 1,091 165 195 42 47 185 189

Federal

131 114 78 82 43 14 6 9 21 3

State

535 541 447 414 42 77 23 19 76 80

Local

644 748 532 595 80 103 13 18 88 106

Self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers

369 398 314 349 30 26 18 16 81 100

Footnotes
(1) Includes self-employed workers whose businesses are incorporated.

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Last Modified Date: August 18, 2015
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