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Category: Market Commentary Tags: , , ,

Between April and July of each year, the youth labor force (16-to-24-year-olds who are either working or actively looking for employment) grows. This should not come as a surprise, however, because summer break leads many more high school and college students to seek out and accept employment. Furthermore, graduation leads a large percentage of this demographic to find and attain permanent employment.

To put some context behind this, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the youth labor force grew by almost 2.7 million to a total of 23.2 million from April 2015 to July 2015. While there aren’t studies that have clearly identified what percentage of the youth labor force earns income from the Gig Economy, the graph below shows that only about 1% of American adults earn income from this growing segment:


As more consumers shift to shopping online from competitors like Amazon.com and the likes, the need for big box stores has lessened, minimizing this once-strong source of employment for the youth labor force. Going forward then, how will this group’s demand for work be satisfied?

Look no further than our Gig Economy to change the summer job dynamics, as well. You’ve heard it in the news – companies like Uber, TaskRabbit, and Instacart have already attracted unemployed and underemployed workers, along with those adults who just want to make some extra cash on the side with gigs. All have signed up to work on their own terms with greater flexibility, and the youth cohort will be no different. After all, that’s where the opportunities are…and who wouldn’t be interested in setting his/her own schedule?

See more at the WSJ (subscription required) here.

Time Magazine also has an interesting infographic to illustrate how many American adults are involved in the Gig Economy and how this economy is broken down:



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