Young Adult Employment Report May 2013, Change in Total Employed by Age

Young Adult Employment Report May 2013, Change in Total Employed by Age

The big employment losses among people ages 20 to 24 are masked in the unemployment rate for the cohort, which barely ticked up to 13.2 percent.  Since unemployment rates only capture those people who are employed or actively looking for a job, the numbers are influenced not just by hiring and firing, but also by workers entering and leaving the market.  Looking instead at employment as a share of the population reveals a more complete picture of the trend.   This employment measure declined in May, wiping out any gains for the age group made so far this year.  The employment-population ratio of 20 to 24-year-olds dropped from 61.6 percent in April – the high in 2013 – to 60.8 percent last month.  Just 61 percent of people in their early 20s are working at all, leaving more than 2 million 20 to 24-year-olds unemployed and 6.6 million out of the labor force altogether. 

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