2020 Teen Summer Job Update – July Numbers

Published August 20, 2020

The number of teens employed in July rose to 5,353,000, an increase of 469,000 jobs from June, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is on par with last July, when 468,000 jobs were added for teen workers.

The number of employed teens is down from last July, when 6,409,000 teens were employed, 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 summer of 2020 has seen 2,192,000 jobs added for teens, a 26.2% increase from the summer of 2019, when 1,737,000 jobs were added May to July.

Summer Employment Growth for Workers Aged 16 to 19, May, June & July; 2015 - 2020

source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Those numbers are encouraging. The data show some teen workers have been able to find employment during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that numerous traditional summer jobs have been eliminated this year,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “Even though in these unprecedented times there are fewer traditional summer jobs, such as counselors at camps that are closed, young people are still finding employment.”

The pandemic’s effect on unemployment is affecting teens, however, along with the rest of the workforce. The unemployment rate for teens in July was 19.1%, an improvement over June’s 24.5%, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the BLS. However, this was up from the 13.3% unemployment teens experienced in July 2019.

source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. with non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


“Working during the summer can be so important for teenagers,” said Challenger. “It allows them to learn new skills, make money for themselves or to help their families, gain experience, and have structure in their lives. In this summer of COVID, many teenagers are missing out on this opportunity.”


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