BOX 4-B - Labor Force Participation Rates

BOX 4-B - Labor Force Participation Rates

In 2001, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) for males aged 16 to 19 was 50 percent, rising to 82 percent for those 20 to 24, and 93 percent for those 25 to 34. For females, the corresponding LFPRs in 2001 were 49 percent, 73 percent, and 75 percent. In 2001, 93 percent of people aged 16 and 17 years were enrolled in school compared with 61 percent of 18 and 19 year olds, 46 percent of 20 and 21 year olds, and 25 percent of 22 to 24 year olds.

From the mid-teens to the mid-20s, labor force participation rises rapidly with a concomitant drop in school enrollment. Of course, many young adults work and go to school. In 2001, of the 20 million people between ages 16 to 24 with a job, about 8 million were also enrolled in school.

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003 (Washington, DC: 2003), tables 221, 588; and Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2002 (Washington, DC: 2002), table 567.