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US Youth Unemployment Shoots From 8% To 25% H1 2020, Highest Level In Over 70 Years

According to the research data analyzed and published by, unemployment among the youth hit a high of 27.4% in April 2020. Though the month had the highest number of lockdown-related layoffs, the overall unemployment rate was 14.7%.

Moreover, based on a Eurostat report, the US had the biggest increase in unemployment among the youth. In January, the youth unemployment rate was 8%, rising to the aforementioned April high. On the other hand, overall unemployment was 3.5% in January.

Overall Unemployment Peaks at 13% in May, 14M Higher than February

Data from the US Bureau of Labor reveals that even though July usually has the summertime peak in youth employment, the July 2020 rate was only 46.7%. Comparatively, the July 2019 rate was 56.2%.

Also, Pew Research explained that the disparity between the youth and the other age groups is their concentration in high-risk industries. These included food services and drinking places, which were most affected by social distancing orders and shutdowns.

Overall, unemployed Americans increased by 14 million between February and May 2020. From a figure of 6.2 million or a 3.8% rate, it went to 20.6 million, a 13% rate. This is the second highest figure on record for the post-World War II era. The highest was recorded in April, at 14.4%. Comparatively, the unemployment rate peak during the Great Recession peaked at 10.6% in January 2010. According to US government estimates, the actual unemployment rate might have been higher than 13%. In May, over 9 million Americans in need of jobs were not on the labor force and were thus not included in the official count. As such, the pandemic-related unemployment rate could be comparable to that of the 1930’s Great Depression which peaked at 25%.

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