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Youth Unemployment at 30-Year Low

August 26, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Summertime unemployment among Americans ages 16 to 24 is at its lowest level in 30 years.

The youth unemployment rate in July _ normally the peak month for young people to be working or seeking jobs because of school vacations and recent graduations _ was 10.1 percent, the Labor Department said Thursday.

That’s the lowest since the summer of 1969, when the rate was 9.4 percent.

Significant disparity persists, however, between the unemployment rates for young black and white Americans. The unemployment rate this summer for young whites was 8.1 percent; for blacks it was 21.9 percent.

``The unemployment rate was still too high for our black youth,″ said Labor Secretary Alexis Herman. ``More than one in five black youth seeking a job this summer remained unemployed _ more than double the unemployment rate of white youth.″

Overall, 2.5 million young people actively looking for jobs could not find them in July.

The summertime unemployment rate for youth has been falling gradually since 1992, when it hit 14.5 percent. Last summer, youth unemployment was 10.8 percent.

The nation’s unemployment rate for people of all ages has held near a 29-year low for more than a year now. At the latest calculation, in June, it was 4.3 percent.

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