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Young Adults Gain Ground, But Have Long Road Ahead To Recover Lost Jobs

August 2, 2013

Colin Seeberger

Young Adults Gain Ground, But Have Long Road Ahead To Recover Lost Jobs

[Washington, DC] — As the national unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.4 percent and the economy added 162,000 jobs in July, the unemployment rate for 18 to 29 year-olds also declined to 11.4 percent from 12.0 percent in June (not seasonally adjusted*). For younger workers ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate fell to 15.6 percent from 16.3 percent in June (seasonally adjusted). However, the data suggests that the drop in youth unemployment is partly explained by discouraged young people leaving the labor force rather than an increase in job opportunities.

Rory O’Sullivan, Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, said, “While July’s unemployment rate for young adults is a slight improvement, there are still over four million unemployed young people under age 30. The Great Recession put our generation in a big hole and we still have a long way to climb out. Policymakers across the country must do more to address young adult joblessness.”

Even employed young adults face challenges finding full time work. According to a Gallup tracking poll published this week, fewer 18 to 29 year-olds held full-time jobs this past June than they did in 2012, 2011, and 2010. After a slight improvement in 2011, young adults are actually working full-time at a lower rate today than they were in 2010, one year after the recession officially ended.

Here is more information on how different populations of young people fared in July 2013:

• The unemployment rate for Black young adults ages 16 to 24 in July was 28.2 percent compared to 31.9 percent last month (not seasonally adjusted).
• The unemployment rate for young Latinos ages 16 to 24 in July was 18.1 percent – it was 17.6 percent last month (not seasonally adjusted).
• The unemployment rate for young men ages 16 to 24 in July was 17.6 percent compared to 18.5 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).
• The unemployment rate for young women ages 16 to 24 in July was 13.4 percent, compared to 14.0 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).
• Overall youth unemployment for 18 to 29 year-olds is 11.4 percent compared to 12.7 percent a year ago in July 2012 (not seasonally adjusted).

Young Invincibles is currently in the middle of a Get The Facts national tour to highlight youth-focused job training and workforce programs that put our generation back to work. To coincide with the tour, Young Invincibles is releasing 50 state-specific reports to educate the public about how young adults are faring economically across the country. Learn more about the “Get The Facts” Campaign at:

*Seasonally adjusted numbers control for patterns such as additional young adults entering the workforce during the summer.


Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young Americans are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.