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High Unemployment Holds Steady In July

Not a lot changed last month for the job-hunting young adult. Even though 117,000 jobs were added in July, unemployment for young people remained persistently high. Just over 17.4 percent of 16 to 24 year olds were out of work in July, essentially unchanged from about 17.3 percent in June. Young people of color, especially young African-Americans, were again the most likely to be looking for work. Thirty-one percent of African-Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 were unemployed, almost double the rate for white young people. Young Hispanics, too, had higher unemployment rates than the average. Last month, one in five were looking for work.

Among 18 to 34 year olds, unemployment was still about one third higher than unemployment overall. Just over 12 percent of this age group was out of work last month, and African-Americans and Hispanics were again the most likely to be out of a job. Of the 6.3 million unemployed young people, nearly 3 million are minorities. June’s rising unemployment appears to have abated in July, but hopefully August will offer more opportunity for young Americans.