18 January 2024

Teen Employment Enters 2024 on Slow Downtrend

2024 finds the state of teen employment within the United States coming into the year on a slow downtrend. The following charts shows the seasonally-adjusted data for the number of employed teens and also the teen employment-to-population ratio from January 2016 through December 2023.

U.S. Teen Employment and Teen Employment-to-Population Ratio*, January 2016 - December 2023

The charts reveal that overall teen employment peaked in April 2023. The number of 16-19 year olds with jobs then fell through July 2023 before recovering in the second half of 2023. That recovery topped out in October 2023 and the number of teens with jobs then fell slowly through the end of the year.

Splitting the teen population between younger teens (Age 16-17) and older teens (Age 18-19), we see similar patterns with one main difference. The employment figures for younger teens peaked earlier than it did for older teens. The maximum number of younger teens was recorded in December 2022.

The U.S. teen employment-to-population ratio shows the same patterns for each age group and confirms the employment situation for American teens has been slowly declining since peaking in the period from December 2022 to April 2023.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice several of the figures presented in the chart have changed from the last time we visited these trends in October 2023. The figures from Janaury 2020 onward have been revised and updated according to the latest Census population controls by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' analysts.

Readers will also catch that adding the indicated numbers of younger and older working teens together doesn't necessarily add up to the numbers of all working teens. That's because each of these data series has been run through its own seasonal adjustment. If you are looking for numbers that do add up, you'll want to access the non-seasonally adjusted data available at the BLS' data site.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Force Statistics (Current Population Survey - CPS). [Online Database]. Accessed: 5 January 2024.