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Teen job market worsens in U.S.

Teens at a job fair in Southampton last

Teens at a job fair in Southampton last year. (May 18, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday, 2010 / Thomas Ferrara

More than two years after the recession officially ended, the teen employment market, the hardest- hit segment during the downturn, has begun to lose ground again, according to recent federal data.

The teen jobless rate rose to 25.4 percent in August, up from 25 percent in July and 24.5 percent in June. That compared with 9.1 percent for the general population.

The youth market in general is distressed, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis of workers ages 16 through 24. Their participation rate, that is their numbers in the labor force relative to their population, declined to 48.8 percent in July, the lowest July rate since 1948, BLS said. The statistic is all the more telling because July is typically the summertime peak in youth employment.

Economists don’t expect the youth market to improve until the adult market makes greater strides. That could be a while. In August, the United States had no job growth. The private sector added 17,000 jobs but the public sector had to cut the same number for the first zero-sum reading since 1945.

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