Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Youth Unemployment Hits 52-Year Low

Data suggest more opportunities are available to some groups that historically struggled to find jobs

See By Andrew Duehren of The WSJ.

I post something every month about the percentage of 25-54 year olds employed, since those are people in prime working years. That has been going up for the most part since November 2011. But things are getting better for even younger workers. That is good news, of course. But maybe even better that as they age this experience they are getting now will benefit them.

"Of Americans between 16 and 24 years old actively looking for work this summer, 9.2% were unemployed in July, the Labor Department said Thursday, a drop from the 9.6% youth unemployment rate in July 2017. It was the lowest midsummer joblessness rate for youth since July 1966."

"Low unemployment among young people shows that in a tight labor market more opportunities are opening to groups that historically have struggled to find jobs.

Similarly, the unemployment rate among older Americans who don’t have a high-school diploma fell to a record low this year. The jobless rate also fell sharply for those who completed high school but never attended college. Among racial groups, the unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 4.5% in July, the lowest rate on records back to the 1970s.

The jobless rate for black Americans touched a record low this year before rising in the past two months. For black youth, the jobless rate ticked up this summer to 16.5% from 16.2% in 2017, meaning this segment of the population hasn’t benefited as much as many others looking for work.

While millions of young people continue to enter the labor force in the summer months, the labor-force participation rate among young Americans—a measure of how many people are actively seeking employment—is still low by historical standards.

In July, the labor-force participation rate was 60.6% among young Americans, the same rate as last year and the highest since 2009. In 1989, the summer youth labor-force participation rate was 77.5%, and it has declined since.

Paul Harrington, an economist at Drexel University who studies the labor market for young people, said one reason for the decrease in the share of teenagers and young adults seeking summer work is the popularity of extracurricular activities and unpaid internships."


Unknown said...

Would you happen to have any thoughts on why the Black Americans have not benefited much from the tightening of the labor market? I ask this question because there seems to be lots of employment to go around nowadays.

Cyril Morong said...

Not sure what you mean by saying Black Americans have not benefited much from the tightening of the labor market. Unemployment rates for all races have been falling. The black rate is still higher than the white rate, but that has been happening for a long time. This article might interest you

and this one

Anonymous said...

hi Cyril, i took the following excerpt from the market watch link you provided. I think it may be on to why the unemployment rates for Blacks is abysmal compared to whites, considering the demographic numbers.
*In August, the black unemployment rate fell to 6.3%

"That said, the black unemployment rate is still higher than the 4.7% Hispanic unemployment rate — also the second-lowest on record — and the 3.4% unemployment rate for whites and the 3% jobless rate for Asian-Americans.

A Federal Reserve paper last year on the topic found that observable characteristics — age, education, marital status and state of residence — could not explain the black-white gap in employment, whereas it largely did for the Hispanic-white gap.

Factors that could explain the gap include personal or institutional discrimination as well as incarceration rates, the Fed paper said."

Cyril Morong said...

Yes, but one of those links has a time line chart and the black unemployment rate has been falling for several years