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Lowest July labor force participation rate for youth since 1972

August 27, 2001

The labor force participation rate for youth—the proportion of the population age 16 to 24 working or looking for work—was 70.8 percent in July. This was the lowest July labor force participation rate for youth since 1972.

Labor force participation rate of 16- to 24-year-olds, by sex, July 1998-2001 (not seasonally adjusted)
[Chart data—TXT]

The decline may reflect, in part, an increase in school enrollment during the summer. This July, 24.4 percent of 16- to 24-year olds were enrolled in school, up from 16.3 percent in July 1994. About half of the youth in school in July were in the labor force compared with three-fourths of those not in school.

The July participation rate for young men has been trending down since 1990 and reached its lowest point on record (74.2 percent) in 2001. The participation rates for young women (67.5 percent), young whites (73.9 percent), and young blacks (60.4 percent), all edged lower from their 2000 levels.

These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. The data are not seasonally adjusted. Find out more in "Employment and Unemployment Among Youth -- Summer 2001," news release USDL 01-275.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Lowest July labor force participation rate for youth since 1972 on the Internet at (visited May 06, 2016).


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