Less working teenagers and young adults

There's an explanation if you have had difficulty hiring teenagers, college students, and young adults in the past few years. Their summer labor force participation rate has declined from 71.6% in 2000 and has been hovering around 60% since 2010. This July, it was 60.4%, a one-sixth decline from 2000.

However, the news is not as bad as it might seem. In July 2000, out of 35.0 million 16- to 24-year-olds, 25.0 were in the labor force. This year, there are 39.0 million aged 16-24 and there are 23.5 million in the workforce, 1.5 million less, a 6.3% decrease. During the same period, the U.S. population has grown 8.8% from 308 million to 335.0 million, with a comparable increase in the number of businesses. So, the decrease in the number of working 16- to 24-year-olds during the summer is not as bad as the decline in their percentage participation rate implies.

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