The U.S. jobless rate in July rose to 5.7 percent, which is certainly not good, but the rate for teenage men is now 24.4 percent, the highest since 1992. The rate for 16- and 17-year old men rose from 26.2 percent to 29.4 percent, the highest since the government started counting in 1948. Now granted, the rates for teenagers always skew much higher than the overall national rate, but NYT columnist Floyd Norris doesn't like the rate for men 20 to 24 rising to 11.6 percent. Interestingly, women are doing better.
The overall unemployment rate for women who are 20 and older actually ticked down, from 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent. The teenage rate for women rose to 17.1 percent from 16.3 percent, but it was higher as recently as 2004. Unemployment rates are based on the number of people who say they are looking for work but cannot find it. This surge may reflect an unusual level of difficulty in finding summer jobs for young people. But that does not explain the rise in unemployment for men from 25 to 44.
The July jobs report for California and L.A. County is due later this month.