More school, less labor

October 28, 2002

The July labor force participation rate for teens dropped from 65.4 percent to 62.3 percent between 1994 and 2000. This happened even as the unemployment rate for teenagers was falling to its lowest level in three decades.

Labor force participation and school enrollment rates, 16 to 19 year olds, July 1994-2000
[Chart data—TXT]

If adverse labor market conditions, the usual explanation for lower labor market activity among teens, were not the reason for the decline, it could have been increasing school enrollment during the summer. The share of teenagers enrolled in school in July increased from 19.5 percent in 1994 to 27.0 percent in 2000.

Labor force participation rates for teens that are in school are roughly 20 percentage points below those for teens that are not enrolled in school in July. Thus, the increasing enrollment rate has exerted downward pressure on teen labor force participation rates.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. There is more information in "Declining teen labor force participation" (PDF 71K), Issues in Labor Statistics, Summary 02-06, September 2002.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, More school, less labor on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/oct/wk4/art01.htm (visited July 27, 2016).

OF INTEREST

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.