Unexpectedly Intriguing!
08 November 2023
Modified from 'We Are Hiring' sign photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash - https://unsplash.com/photos/a-sign-that-says-we-are-hiring-and-apply-today-B3UFXwcVbc4

The employment situation for American teens picked up in October 2023.

Adjusted for seasonality, the number of working Age 16-19 year olds increased over September 2023's level, from 5,570,000 to 5,685,000. Within the teen population, the increase was concentrated among older teens (Age 18-19), while younger teens saw a smaller tick upward.

At the same time, the percentage of working teens within the Age 16-19 population also rose. The following charts present the latest seasonally adjusted numbers and percentages for teen employment in the U.S. in addition to the preceding 8+ years of monthly data. Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts each data series through its own seasonal adjustment, the employment figures shown in these charts for the subgroups within the teen population will not necessarily add up to the combined total.

U.S. Teen Employment and Employment to Population Ratio, Seasonally Adjusted, January 2016-October 2023

The BLS' raw, non-seasonally adjusted data does however, so here are those numbers for October 2023, along with their change from the previous month:

  • Age 16-17: 2,162,000 (+ 28,000)
  • Age 18-19: 3,352,000 (+166,000)
  • Age 16-19: 5,514,000 (+193,000)

By contrast, the number of working Americans Age 20 or older decreased by 187,000, falling from 156,349,000 to 156,162,000 between September and October 2023. After adjusting for seasonality for that part of the U.S. civilian labor force, the BLS reports the number of Age 20+ individuals with jobs dropped by 463,000, decreasing month-over-month from 156,000,000 to 155,537,000.

Looking at the bigger picture, the BLS also reported the overall unemployment rate increased to 3.9% in October 2023, which apparently is enough to trigger the "ultra-reliable" Sahm rule, in which the national unemployment rate rises by at least half a percentage point above its lowest figure in the preceding 12 months, which often precedes periods of recession.

For what it's worth, its creator, Claudia Sahm, thinks it might not be as accurate an indicator for the current economic situation as it has been in the past. We think October 2023's data for teen employment supports that assessment and combined with unique factors like the UAW's month-long strike against U.S.-based automakers, can argue it is more noise than signal for describing the state of the economy in October 2023.

As always, the real question is how will the numbers change when next month's data is reported? We'll all find out soon enough.

Image credit: Modified from 'We Are Hiring' sign photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash.

Labels: ,

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Indices, Futures, and Bonds

Closing values for previous trading day.

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified