Youth Unemployment Rate, Figures by State

 

The youth unemployment rate was 16.1 percent in April 2013 for those between the ages of 16 and 24, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the 16 to 19 age group, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 24.1 percent; for those ages 20 to 24, it was 13.1 percent.

Youth unemployment steadily climbed during the recession, reaching a peak of 19.6 percent in April 2010. The unemployment rate has since slowly declined as more younger workers found jobs, but remains well above the national rate.

Many youth gave up their job search or went back to school as employment opportunities disappeared. Factoring in these young adults, the youth unemployment rate would be even higher.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided Governing annual state youth unemployment rates for 2012, the most recent data available, shown in the table below.

Mississippi recorded the highest youth unemployment rate (23 percent) for the age 16 to 24 population, followed by South Carolina (22.9 percent), Georgia (20.6 percent) and California (20.2 percent).

 

Youth Unemployment Rates By State: 2012 Annual Data

StateAge 16-24 RateAge 16-19 Rate Age 20-24 Rate
Alabama16.317.116.0
Alaska14.820.612.3
Arizona17.628.913.3
Arkansas17.726.214.8
California20.234.615.9
Colorado16.726.212.9
Connecticut17.025.413.4
Delaware15.223.812.0
District of Columbia15.634.013.7
Florida16.423.514.3
Georgia20.629.617.5
Hawaii13.529.78.9
Idaho17.322.514.0
Illinois18.527.115.0
Indiana14.921.912.0
Iowa11.016.88.4
Kansas13.221.39.7
Kentucky16.924.214.2
Louisiana16.727.813.4
Maine16.624.612.3
Maryland13.421.810.5
Massachusetts12.220.29.2
Michigan16.921.514.5
Minnesota11.018.67.7
Mississippi23.024.022.6
Missouri16.123.912.8
Montana11.110.811.3
Nebraska8.913.57.0
Nevada17.625.615.2
New Hampshire13.417.111.6
New Jersey18.224.715.7
New Mexico12.618.99.8
New York18.028.414.7
North Carolina18.825.416.0
North Dakota7.212.45.0
Ohio12.616.610.9
Oklahoma10.814.59.6
Oregon17.923.315.9
Pennsylvania13.416.812.1
Rhode Island17.225.913.4
South Carolina22.931.719.8
South Dakota9.911.49.4
Tennessee13.520.410.6
Texas13.521.110.8
Utah11.920.77.7
Vermont13.117.710.5
Virginia16.825.913.1
Washington16.728.612.0
West Virginia15.718.814.7
Wisconsin12.920.49.2
Wyoming12.717.110.6

Since the start of the recession, the gap between the youth unemployment rate and the national unemployment rate has widened. The following graph shows the unemployment rate for those ages 16 to 24 compared to the age 25 and older population:

 

Another common measure of youth employment is the employment-to-population ratio, which better takes into account individuals not actively looking for work.

Adults have a higher employment-to-population ratio than youth workers. Labor Department statistics further indicate employment levels for younger age groups have been declining much faster. The annual employment-to-population ratio for 16-to-24 year-olds fell from an annual average of 53.1 percent in 2007 to 46 percent in 2012– a 7.1 percent decline.

 


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