In September, the economy added 156,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate for Americans 16 and older was 5 percent. The youth unemployment rate, which follows the employment of Americans aged 16 to 24, was 10.3 percent.
The employment outlook for youth continues to depend largely on one’s racial or ethnic background, with black and Latino youth facing particularly poor economic landscapes. In September, the Asian youth unemployment rate was the lowest of any racial or ethnic group, at 6.4 percent, and the black youth unemployment rate was the highest, at 17.3 percent. In between those ends, the white youth unemployment rate in September clocked in at 8.9 percent and the Latino youth unemployment rate was 11.3 percent.
The labor force participation rate (LFPR) measures the proportion of the population that is working or actively seeking work. For all Americans 16 and older, the LFPR was 62.9 percent in September, but youth 16-24 saw a much lower rate of 55.3 percent. Looking at the lasting effects of the Great Recession, the youth LFPR has failed to match pre-recession levels. Before the recession, between 2000 and 2007, the youth LFPR typically ranged between 60 and 65 percent, but since 2010 it’s remained stagnant at around 55 percent.