Unemployment rate for teens drops to lowest level since March 2008

Economic Indicators Associated Press

It looks as though lots of teenagers landed summer jobs in July.

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The unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 19 fell nearly 2 percentage points from June to 16.2 percent, the lowest level since March 2008. Since the Great Recession, teens have had an especially tough time finding jobs. Their unemployment rate has hovered above 20 percent for much of the past seven years.

Black Americans also made progress in July. Their jobless rate fell for a second straight month to 9.1 percent — its lowest level since an 8.6 percent reading in April 2008.

Despite the improvement, the employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide: The jobless rate for African-Americans is more than twice the rate for whites.

Overall, U.S. employers added 215,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate stayed at 5.3 percent.

The data for various demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.

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Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages) July-15 June-15 July-14
White 4.6 4.6 5.3
Black 9.1 9.5 11.4
Asian* 4.0 3.8 4.2
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity** 6.8 6.6 7.6
Adult men 4.8 4.8 5.7
Adult women 4.9 4.8 5.7
Teenagers 16.2 18.1 20
20-24 years old 10.1 9.9 11.4
25-54 years old 4.5 4.4 5.2
55 and over 3.7 3.7 4.5
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan* 6.7 5.4 9.2
No high school diploma 8.3 8.2 9.6
High school graduate 5.5 5.4 6.1
Some college 4.4 4.2 5.4
College graduate 2.6 2.5 3.1
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks) 28.3 28.1 32.5
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.) 26.9 25.8 33
* Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department