The U.S. saw a slight drop in the unemployment rate in the month of August. However, the numbers may not tell the whole story. The lower rate of unemployment is not driven by more people finding jobs or corporations eagerly willing to hire. Unemployment percentage decreases are largely due to around 400,000 Americans giving up on looking for work and dropping out of the labor force.
Younger workers aged 16-24 make up a large majority of the number of those who are dropping out of the labor force. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 453,000 fewer workers had jobs in August than in the month of July. However, only 27,000 of the almost half million younger workers who lost jobs were still seeking employment. The U.S. Department of Labor also calculated that the percentage of younger workers accounted for in the labor force fell to levels that have not been seen since 1955.
Smaller amounts of job seekers drive down the unemployment rate even when fewer people are employed. This is because the U.S. Department of Labor only counts individuals with a job or actively looking for a job as genuine participants in the labor force. Younger workers leave the labor force for various reasons, mainly for having to return to high school or college. The youth are in the stage of their lives when they are discovering who they want to become and education is a larger priority. It readies them for their future better than working for the lower wages corporations pay for their inexperience.