Unexpectedly Intriguing!
May 11, 2009

Going only by age, American teenagers have been the most disproportionately affected group within the United States during the current recession. Our chart below shows just how disproportionately teens have been affected since November 2007:

Teen Overrepresentation of Job Losses Since November 2007, Through April 2009

As our chart indicates, since November 2007, some 758,000 jobs that had been counted as being held by individuals Age 16-19 have been loss, representing 13.4% of the total job loss in the U.S. economy of 5,658,000 through April 2009. By comparison, those Age 16-19 account for 5,103,000 out of the 141,007,000 individuals counted among the total U.S. civilian labor force in April 2009, or 3.6%.

That indicates that through April 2009, teens are 3.7 more likely than their representation within the total civilian labor force would otherwise suggest to have been affected by the loss of jobs for those within their age group.

But, unlike every other age group in the U.S., the number of teen jobs has been progressively falling since peaking in 2006. The chart below shows how the average number of jobs held by teens has changed each year since January 2006 (the average shown for 2009 is through April 2009):

Number, Average Number of Employed Individuals Age 16-19, January 2009 through April 2009

Looking at the average number of jobs held by individuals Age 16-19 between the year of 2006 and the first four months of 2009, we see that over one million jobs for teenagers have disappeared from the U.S. economy.

The chart above also confirms that June 2006 marked the peak of teen employment, with some 6,244,000 individuals Age 16-19 recorded as having jobs in that month. Our next chart presents how the number of teens with jobs has changed since then, as a percentage of their June 2006 figure:

Percentage of Number Employed for Age 16-19 and Age 20+ from Levels Recorded in June 2006, as of April 2009

Here, we see that as of April 2009, teen employment is just 81.7% of its June 2006 peak value. We also see that it has only been since December 2008 that the number of those Age 20 and higher has dropped below 100% of their June 2006 level.

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