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Employment During COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation has developed a set of graphics to demonstrate the changes in employment and labor force participation among youth ages 16 to 24 during COVID-19. Updated 6/16/21.

Download the chart descriptions (PDF, 4 pages).

Slide 1: Unemployment rates among youth age 16 to 24 have returned to pre-pandemic levels This chart displays the unemployment rates among youth age 16 to 24 from the Current Population Survey.  The left vertical Y-Axis is titled “% of Labor Force without Employment” and ranges from 0% to 30%.  The horizontal X-Axis displays 14 vertical bars representing the months between March 2000 and April 2021.  The youth unemployment rate was 10 percent in March 2020, and it increased to 27 percent in April 2020.  After the initial increase the unemployment rates slowly decreased to 10 percent in April 2021.


Slide 2: Unemployment rates among youth age 16 to 24 remain higher than among older age groups This chart displays four lines representing the unemployment rates of four age groups from the Current Population Survey. The left vertical Y-Axis is titled “% of Labor Force without Employment” and ranges from 0% to 30%.  The horizontal X-Axis displays 14 months of data between March 2020 and April 2021.  Among all four populations displayed, the unemployment rates begin low, then increase significantly in April 2020 and slowly decrease to April 2021.  The first line represents the unemployment rates of persons age 45 to 64 and these rates begin at 3 percent in March and end at 5 percent in April 2021.  The second line represents persons age 25 to 44 and these rates begin at 4 percent in February and end at 5 percent in April, 2021.  The third line represents persons age 65 and older and begins at 4 percent in March 2000 and ends at 5 percent in April 2021.  The fourth line represents youth age 16 to 24 and begins at 10 percent in March 2000 and ends at 10 percent in April 2021.


Slide 3: White youth age 16 to 24 continue to have lower unemployment rates than other groups after COVID-19 This chart displays four lines representing the unemployment rates of four groups of youth differentiated by race and ethnicity from the Current Population Survey. The left vertical Y-Axis is titled “% of Labor Force without Employment” and ranges from 0% to 35%.  The horizontal X-Axis displays 14 months of data between March 2020 and April 2021.  Among all four populations displayed, the unemployment rates begin low, then increase significantly in April 2020 and slowly decrease to April 2021.  The first line represents the unemployment rates of white youth and these rates begin at 7 percent in March 2020 and end at 8 percent in April 2021.  The second line represents Latino youth and these rates begin at 13 percent in March 2020 and end at 12 percent in April 2021.  The third line represents Black youth and begins at 17 percent in March 2020 and ends at 16 percent in April 2021.  The fourth line represents other youth and begins at 11 percent in March and ends at 11 percent in April 2021.


Slide 4. Six out of ten youth live in households experiencing a loss of employment income after COVID-19 This slide presents a horizontal stacked-bar chart showing four bars representing different age groups tabulated from the Census Bureau’s Pulse survey.  Each horizontal bar displays the percentages of persons who were (1) employed, (2) not-employed for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, (3) not-employed because of a COVID-related job loss, and (4) not-employed because of another COVID-related reason not directly related to employment such as being sick with COVID-19 symptoms, taking care of a family member with COVID-19 symptoms, or concerned about getting COVID-19 at work. The data presented are from the Census Bureau’s PULSE survey collected between December 9 and December 21, 2020. •	The percent of persons employed was 60 percent for youth age 18 to 24 compared to 71 percent for persons age 25 to 44, 63 percent for persons age 45 to 64, and 24 percent for persons age 65 and older. •	The percent of youth who were not-employed for a non-COVID-19 reason was 20 percent compared to 14 percent for persons age 25 to 44, 24 percent for persons age 45 to 64, and 70 percent for persons age 65 and older. •	The percent of youth who were not-employed because of a COVID-related job loss was 12 percent, compared with 10 percent for persons age 25 to 44, 9 percent for persons age 45 to 64, and 4 percent for persons age 65 and older. •	The percent of youth who were not-employed for another COVID reason was 8 percent, compared to 5 percent of persons age 25 to 44, 5 percent for persons age 40 to 64, and 2 percent for persons age 65 and older.


Slide 5. Six out of ten youth live in households experiencing a loss of employment income after COVID-19 This slide presents a chart showing five horizontal bars whose length represents the percent of persons living in households that experienced a loss of employment income after COVID-19.  The data presented are from the Census Bureau’s PULSE survey collected between December 9 and December 21, 2020.  The percentage of youth experiencing a loss of employment income was 56 percent compared to 55 percent for persons age 25 to 44, 51 percent for persons age 45 to 64, and 27 percent for persons age 65 and older.


Slide 6. Youth age 16 to 24 in lower-income families remained more likely to be unemployed after COVID-19 than other youth This slide presents a line chart showing the unemployment rates of youth living in four different types of families based on incomes reported in the Current Population Survey. •	The first line presents the unemployment rates for youth living in families with incomes at or above $100,000.  The rates begin at 7 percent in March 2020, increase to 27 percent in April 2000, and gradually decrease to 8 percent in April 2021. •	The second line presents the unemployment rates for youth living in families with incomes at or above $50,000 and below $100,000.  The rates begin at 9 percent in March 2020, increase to 25 percent in April 2020, and gradually decrease to 8 percent in April 2021. •	The third line presents the unemployment rates for youth living in families with incomes at or above $25,000 and below $50,000.  The rates begin at 11 percent in March 2020, increase to 27 percent in April 2020, and gradually decrease to 11 percent for April 2021. •	The fourth line presents the unemployment rates for youth living in families with incomes below $25,000.  The rates begin at 16 percent in March 2020, increase to 36 percent in May 2020, and gradually decrease to 18 percent for April 2021.


Slide 7. Youth employment declined across all major industries the year after COVID-19 This slide presents a column chart showing the change in the average monthly number of youth age 16 to 24 employed in seven industries.  The chart compares average monthly employment in April 2020 through March 2021 compared with average monthly employment between April 2019 and March 2020.  After COVID-19 there were, on an average month: •	1,101,000 fewer youth employed in leisure and hospitality, •	   559,000 fewer youth employed in education and health services, •	   277,000 fewer youth employed in financial and professional services, •	   193,000 fewer youth employed in manufacturing, •	   192,000 fewer youth employed in other industries, •	     93,000 fewer youth employed in construction, and •	     65,000 more youth employed in wholesale and retail trade.
 

Slide 8. The percentage of youth age 16 to 24 who were not employed and not in school temporarily doubled after COVID-19 but returned to pre-pandemic levels This slide presents a stacked column chart where each segment sums to 100 percent for each column.  There are six stacked columns for the months January 2020, April 2020, July 2020, October 2020, January 2021, and April 2021. There are three segments for each of the six stacked columns: Not employed, Not in School; Not Employed in School; and Employed.   •	The values for the Not Employed, Not in School segments are 12 percent in January 2020, 20 percent in April 2020, 28 percent in July 2020, 13 percent in October 2020, 15 percent in January 2021, and 13 percent in April 2021. •	The values for the Not Employed, in School are 39 percent in January 2020, 45 percent in April 2020, 25 percent in July 2020, 38 percent in October 2020, 39 percent in January 2021, and 39 percent in April 2021. •	The values for the Employed are 50 percent in January 2020, 35 percent in April 2020, 47 percent in July 2020, 49 percent in October 2020, 47 percent in January 2021, and 49 percent in April 2021.


Slide 9. Black youth continue to be more likely to be out of work and out of school than Latino and White youth. This slide presents a line chart with four lines representing the races/ethnicities of Blacks, Latinos, Other Races, and Whites between the months of March 2020 and April 2021.  All four lines show large increases in the percentages of youth that were out of work and out of school between March 2020 and July 2020 followed by gradual decreases until about October 2020.  In April 2021, the percent of youth that were out of work and not in school was: •	18 percent for Blacks •	11 percent for other races •	15 percent for Latinos & •	11 percent for Whites

 

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