Economic News Release

Employment and Unemployment Among Youth Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, August 20, 2013                         USDL-13-1698

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From April to July 2013, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by
2.1 million to 19.7 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This
year, the share of young people employed in July was 50.7 percent. (The month of July 
typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.) Unemployment among youth rose 
by 692,000 from April to July 2013, compared with an increase of 836,000 for the same 
period in 2012. (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 2.8 million, or 13.4 percent, to a total of 23.5 million in
July. (See table 1.)

The labor force participation rate for all youth—-the proportion of the population 16 to
24 years old working or looking for work--was 60.5 percent in July, the same as a year
earlier. Taking a longer-term perspective, the July 2013 participation rate was 17.0
percentage points below the peak rate for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent). (See
table 2.)

The July 2013 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 62.7 percent,
and the rate for young women was 58.2 percent; both rates were about the same as a year
earlier. 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 1989, however,
their July participation rate has declined, 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

The youth labor force participation rate was highest for whites, at 63.1 percent in
July 2013. By contrast, the rate was 53.8 percent for blacks, 46.1 percent for Asians,
and 57.8 percent for Hispanics. For all four groups, labor force participation rates
were little different from last year.


In July 2013, 19.7 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed, about the same as last
year. This summer’s increase in youth employment-—from April to July-—was 2.1 million.
The employment-population ratio for youth in July 2013—-the proportion of the 16- to
24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population with a job—-was 50.7 percent. (See
tables 1 and 2.)

In  July, the youth employment-population ratios were 51.7 percent for young men,
49.6 percent for young women, 54.3 percent for whites, 38.6 percent  for  blacks,
39.2 percent for Asians, and  47.4 percent for Hispanics.  For  all  major
demographic groups,  these  ratios showed little change from last year.

In July 2013, 26 percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality
industry (which includes food services), and 19 percent worked in the retail trade
industry. Both proportions were unchanged from a year earlier. (See table 3.)


The number of unemployed youth in July 2013 was 3.8 million, compared with 4.0 million
a year ago. The youth unemployment rate was 16.3 percent in July 2013. Among the major
demographic groups, unemployment rates were lower than a year earlier in July for young
women (14.8 percent) and whites (13.9 percent), while jobless rates changed little for
young men (17.6 percent), blacks (28.2 percent), Asians (15.0 percent), and Hispanics
(18.1 percent). (See table 2.)

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Last Modified Date: August 20, 2013
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