The official unemployment rate for those under 25 is 16.2%. However, that figure discounts significant numbers of young people who have given up looking for work for various reasons. The Wall Street Journal reports a 4.7% drop in the labor participation rate among the young over the past 5 years. That’s equivalent to 1.8 million fewer young people looking for work today. If the participation rate were held constant, youth unemployment would now be 22.9%.
The Journal notes that the labor participation rate among young workers has been flat for several years but declined sharply last month. The reason for this isn’t completely clear though one economist suggested childcare may account for some of the drop.