The labor force participation rate for people ages 20 through 24—which BLS has been tracking since 1948—hit a 42-year low in 2013.
Since 2008, the last year before President Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans in their twenties who were not in the labor force during the average month has climbed from 8,756,000 to 10,511,000—an increase of 1,755,000 or 20 percent.
The 10,511,000 Americans age 20 through 29 who were not in the labor force in 2013 is the highest ever recorded by BLS.
The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people in the civilian noninstitutional population who either have a job or actively sought one in the past four weeks. The full civilian noninstitutional population includes all people resident in the United States age 16 or older who are not on active duty in the military or in an institution such as a prison, nursing home or mental hospital.