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decreased sharply for adult men and teenagers. In contrast, the rate for adult women continued to rise in line with its historical trend, reaching a new high of 45.2 percent. The decline in the labor force participation rate for adult men, although relatively sharp from the first to the second quarter, represented a resumption of the secular downtrend which had been interrupted during 1973. The decline for teenagers, on the other hand, was an apparent pause in a very strong upward movement evident since early 1971.
Given the standstill in both the employment and labor force levels, the number of jobless persons in the second quarter of 1974 remained at the 4.7-million level reached in the previous quarter. The overall jobless rate, at 5.1 percent, was also essentially unchanged from the first quarter, as were the rates for most of the major agesex groups.
Persons not in the labor force
With the labor force participation rate edging down, the number of nonparticipants in the labor force increased markedly from the first to the second quarter of 1974. However, the data on the status and job attitudes of these persons do not provide any explanation for the diminished growth of the labor force during this period. As shown in table A-8, while there was some increase in the total number of persons expressing some desire to have a job, the number of discouraged workers—those who want work but are not looking for a job specifically because they think they cannot find one has been virtually the same for the past 3 quarters, averaging about 680,000. It should be noted, however, that while over the long run the number of such workers has moved in tandem with the underlying trend of the unemployment rate, the two series have often diverged over shorter spans.
The Negro labor force declined by 130,000 or 1.3 percent in the second quarter, while the white labor force
contrasting developments, the civilian labor force participation rate of Negroes declined markedly, from 60.9 to 59.7 percent, whereas that for whites was little changed at 61.3 percent.
There was also a small decline in the number of Negroes employed from the first to the second quarter, while employment of whites increased slightly. However, there was little change in the unemployment levels and rates for both groups. As a result, the ratio of their jobless rates held at close to 2 to 1.
The proportion of nonparticipants in the labor force expressing some desire to be working "now" (although not currently seeking jobs) has also averaged at least twice as large for Negroes as for whites; these ratios were 15 and 7 percent, respectively, in the second quarter of 1974. Within this category, about 140,000 Negroes and 500,000 whites were not looking for jobs specifically because of discouragement over job prospects.
Persons of Spanish origin
The Spanish-origin civilian labor force averaged 4.0 million (not seasonally adjusted) in the second quarter of 1974, accounting for a little over 4 percent of the Nation's labor force. The labor force participation rate for this group was 61.7 percent, considerably greater than the rate for blacks and exceeding slightly that of whites. An average of 3.6 million persons of Spanish origin were employed during the quarter, 57.0 percent of their civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over.
Approximately 300,000 workers of Spanish origin were unemployed during the quarter. The unemployment rate of 7.7 percent for this group was substantially above the 4.6-percent rate for white workers but below the 9.7 percent rate for blacks. The ratio of the Spanishorigin jobless rate to the white rate was 1.7 to 1, which means that, relative to the size of their respective labor forces, there were 17 jobless workers of Spanish origin for every 10 unemployed whites.