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Although more young people found jobs between April and July, the percentage of young people employed in July 2011 was the lowest July rate on record since the government started tracking the numbers in 1948.
Data released on Wednesday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that only 48.8 percent of young people ages 16-24 were employed in July, a slightly lower percentage than last year. Youth employment typically peaks in July, as high school and college students work summer jobs and graduates take permanent jobs.
In July 2011, 18.6 million 16- to 24-year-olds were employed, about the same number as last year (although a lower percentage).
Twenty-six percent of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality sector (which includes food services), and another 21 percent found jobs in the retail trade industry.
Breaking it down into demographic groups, 50.2 percent of young men ages 16-24 were employed in July, as were 47.3 percent of women, 52.3 percent of whites, 34.6 percent of blacks, 40.5 percent of Asians, and 42.9 percent of Hispanics.