The number of jobs added for workers aged 16 to 19 soared in June to 1,129,000, the highest June total in over two decades, according to the latest employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This after 594,000 jobs were gained in May, according to an analysis of non-seasonally adjusted data from the BLS by global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The 1,723,000 jobs added in May and June is a 36% jump from the 1,269,000 jobs added for teens in those two months last year. Teen hiring is on track to reach levels not seen since 1999, when 2,017,000 jobs were added.

“This is great news for teens who want to get back to work. The current data suggests many of the jobs returning to the economy due to reopenings are going to teen workers,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Despite the huge jump in the number of jobs added, 4,884,000 teens were employed in June, the lowest number of employed teens in the month of June since 2010, when 4,833,000 teens were employed. Last June, 5,941,000 teens were employed, before hitting the peak employment number of 6,409,000 in July. In 1999, 7,900,000 teens were employed in June.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for teens was 24.5% in June, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the BLS. This is up nearly ten points from the 15% unemployment teens experienced in June 2019. In April, the unemployment rate eclipsed the participation rate for teens, the first time this has happened in the series.

Teen employment 2019-2020

“The rise in COVID cases the nation is currently experiencing is impacting all workers, not just teens, but it is clear that teens are also slow to get back to work. The new risks that come with these jobs are likely keeping many teens from working, and establishments that primarily employ teens may scale back reopening as cases continue to emerge,” said Challenger.

“We’re not seeing the numbers of employed teens we saw last summer, which was one of the best teen job markets since 2001,” added Challenger.

In fact, 7,600,000 teens were employed in June 2001, reaching 8,900,000 employed teens in July of that year.

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