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DTMB releases summer 2024 job market forecast for Michigan teens (ages 16–19)

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget today released its summer teen employment forecast for June–August 2024. The Michigan labor market has continued to add jobs each year since 2020, and the unemployment rate has remained low overall. This is positive news for teens looking for work in the coming months, some for the first time, as they search for summer employment. Recent annual trends have shown that more teens have sought and found jobs each summer, and a similar outcome is expected in 2024.

In the U.S., the annual average unemployment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 had been declining up until the pandemic year of 2020. Since then, the national unemployment rate for teens has averaged around 12 percent over the past few years. This trend is similar in Michigan, where the annual average teen unemployment rate dropped to around 12 percent in 2018 and 2019 and has hovered around 13 percent since 2021.

The summer 2024 unemployment rate among Michigan teens is expected to average 11.6 percent, down slightly from the 13.7 percent rate in 2023. This is similar to the summer unemployment rates Michigan teens have experienced since 2018. Employment for teens spiked to 233,000 in 2023 as participation for this group exceeded historical norms. In 2024, nearly a quarter million Michigan teens are expected to search for work, and 218,900 are forecasted to be employed this summer.

“Approximately 250,000 Michigan teens are forecasted to seek employment this summer, and they will be entering a promising job market,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director for the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Teen unemployment should remain low due to the job demand in industries that typically hire younger seasonal workers.”

Teen Labor Force

Teen Employment

Teen Unemployment

Teen Unemployment Rate

Summer 2024 (forecast)





Source: Michigan Center for Data and Analytics, Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

The overall population of Michigan teens ages 16 to 19 has been declining since it peaked in 2008 at 614,000. In 2024, the number of 16- to 19-year-olds in Michigan is expected to fall below 500,000. Approximately 247,600 (50 percent) of teens in this age group are expected to seek work or hold a job this summer.

So far in 2024, job demand in Michigan has remained elevated in industries like retail and food service, which could be ideal for teens since they require minimal education, experience, or training. Many other sectors that are highly seasonal and require larger staff levels during the summer months may also provide opportunities for younger workers looking for jobs. Michigan teens should be encouraged by the ongoing demand in industries that have low barriers of entry and also hire younger workers.

Teens seeking summer jobs are encouraged to contact their local Michigan Works! office. Michigan Works! provides assistance in resume development and job search, including access to Pure Michigan Talent Connect, and also offers tips on applying to your first job.

For more information on youth employment, visit the Wage and Hour Division website.

Statistical information about Michigan's economy, labor force, population and more is available at or through the MiEconomy app available for iOS and Android.

For more information, view the full release online.


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