Unexpectedly Intriguing!
December 12, 2012

We're going to look at the change in the U.S. employment situation since the total level of employment in the U.S. peaked five years ago in November 2007, but first, let's look at the change since October 2012.

Through November 2012, the U.S. employment situation for young adults Age 20-24 was good, for all older adults it was bad, and for teens, it was "meh".

Change in Number of Employed Since Total Employment Peaked in November 2007, through November 2012

Overall, some 6,000 more teens and 62,000 young adults than in October 2012 gained jobs, while some 190,000 fewer individuals Age 25 and older were counted as being employed. Doing the math, the net change in the number of jobs in the month from October 2012 to November 2012 came in for a loss of 122,000.

The total number of employed Americans fell by that number to 143,262,000 in November 2012, which is 3,333,000 less than the so-far all-time peak number of of 146,595,000 Americans who were counted as having jobs in November 2007.

The number of employed teens in the U.S. has declined from 5,927,000 in that month to 4,479,000 some five years later. Over this period of time, the number of young adults Age 20-24 with jobs has fallen by 405,000 from 14,001,000 to 13,596,000 and the number of older adults has fallen by 1,480,000 from 126,667,000 to 125,187,000.

Looking at the total decline in the number of employed Americans through November 2012, jobs lost by U.S. teens account for 43.4%, young adults for 12.2% and adults Age 25 and older account for 44.4% of all jobs that have disappeared from the U.S. economy over the last five years.

In November 2007, teens represented 4.0% of the entire U.S. workforce. In November 2012, teens account for just 3.1% of the reduced U.S. workforce. At this point, jobs that were most likely to have been held by teens are 14 times more likely to have been negatively affected by the employment situation over the past five years than their numbers among the entire U.S. workforce would suggest.

In retrospect, it seems that the U.S. Congress' action to boost the minimum wage by nearly 41% in three stages from 2007 through 2009 without doing anything to boost the revenues of teen employers by an appropriate percentage to compensate them for their higher costs of doing business during this period of time wasn't such a hot idea.

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