On This PageJanuary, No. 234

Fewer teenagers are participating in the labor force today than at any point since WWII. Why has there been a long-run secular decline in the work activity of young adults, and why has it sharply accelerated in the last five years?

Explaining the Decline in Teen Labor Force Participation
Last Updated: 12/14/06
The authors provide an overview of the decline in teen labor force participation (LFP). After briefly summarizing the facts, they discuss whether the large recent drop in participation is a temporary product of a labor market that is weaker than the unemployment rate would suggest, or a more permanent drop driven by the increased attractiveness of study, changes in college financial aid, or something else.