Youth Job Training and Education

  • Seeing hope for flagging economy, West Virginia revamps vocational track, By Dana Goldstein, August 10, 2017, New York Times: “In a sleek laboratory at Marshall University last month, four high school teachers hunched over a miniature steam-electric boiler, a tabletop replica of the gigantic machinery found in power plants. They hooked the boiler to a small, whirring generator and tinkered with valves and knobs, looking for the most efficient way to turn coal, natural gas, nuclear or solar energy into electricity. The teachers, who were attending a summer training program, are helping West Virginia in another kind of transformation. Long one of the poorest states, it is now leading the way in turning vocational education from a Plan B for underachieving students into what policy makers hope will be a fuel source for the state’s economic revival…”
  • ‘Millennial Bill’ could help at-risk youth secure jobs, By Donna Owens, July 29, 2017, NBC News: “Taj Jackson dreamed of college after graduating from a Maryland high school in 2014, but didn’t think his family—headed by a single mother who worked multiple jobs—could afford it. Then they both learned about a national nonprofit called `Year Up.’ It provides young adults in urban communities with skills training, work experience, educational opportunities and mentoring, aimed at helping them achieve professional careers within a year…”

Youth Unemployment – Chicago, IL

Chicago tackles youth unemployment as it wrestles with its consequences, By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, September 1, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “Margo Strotter, who runs a busy sandwich shop in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, makes it a point to hire people with ‘blemishes.’  But young people? She sighs and shakes her head.  They often lack ‘the fundamental stuff’ — arriving on time, ironing their shirts, communicating well, taking direction — she said. She doesn’t have time to train workers in the basics, and worries she’s not alone.  ‘We are going to wind up with a whole group of people in their 40s and 50s who can’t function,’ said Strotter, owner of Ain’t She Sweet Cafe.  As Chicago tackles what some have termed a crisis of youth joblessness, it must reckon with the consequences of a failure to invest in its low-income neighborhoods and the people who live there. There aren’t enough jobs, and the young people vying for them are frequently woefully unprepared because of gaps in their schooling and upbringing. The system has pushed them to the back of the hiring line…”

Youth Employment

It’s a tough job market for the young without college degrees, By Patricia Cohen, May 10, 2016, New York Times: “For seniors graduating from the University of Michigan this month, employers have been lining up since the fall to offer interviews and boast of their companies’ benefits. Recruiters would ask when their competitors were coming, said Geni Harclerode, the university’s assistant director of employer development, and then they’d say: ‘Well, we want to come the week before.’  ‘This has been one of our largest seasons of hiring,’ she said. ‘The job market has been very good.’  The outlook for many high school graduates is more challenging, as Vynny Brown can attest. Now 20, he graduated two years ago from Waller High School in Texas, and has been working for nearly a year at Pappasito’s Cantina in Houston, part of a chain of Tex-Mex restaurants. He earns $7.25 an hour filling takeout orders or $2.13 an hour plus tips as a server, which rarely adds up to more than the minimum, he said. He would like to apply to be a manager, but those jobs require some college experience…”

Young Black Men and Unemployment – Chicago, IL

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school: report, By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, January 25, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “Nearly half of young black men in Chicago are neither in school nor working, a staggering statistic in a bleak new youth unemployment report that shows Chicago to be far worse off than its big-city peers. To 24-year-old Johnathan Allen, that’s no surprise. ‘It’s right there in your face, you don’t need statistics,’ Allen said as he testified before a room full of lawmakers and public officials Monday at an annual hearing about youth unemployment, where the report was presented. He encouraged everyone to walk down the street and witness how joblessness devastates communities…”

Disconnected Youth

The young and the disconnected: America’s youth unemployment problem, By Robert Samuels, October 27, 2014, Washington Post: “The mentor and mentee sat in a room in the Latin American Youth Center, dreaming of a future neither knew how to fully attain. ‘How many jobs do you think you’ve applied for?’ Jaime Roberts asked her mentee. Manuel Hernandez laughed nervously. The question seemed so important, but the goal seemed so futile. ‘I stopped counting,’ Hernandez said. ‘Maybe 12? Maybe more?’ Hernandez is 24. He has never held a steady job, never went college and has a felony conviction. But he also has a budding artist as a son, who keeps asking for an art set that Dad can’t afford to buy. The mistakes in his past have resulted in him being stuck in a national economic conundrum: how to help young people, between 16 and 24, who are neither enrolled in school nor employed. Policymakers call them ‘disconnected youth.’ Hernandez calls them ‘friends…'”

Youth Unemployment

The youth unemployment crisis hits African-Americans hardest, By NPR Staff, July 21, 2014, NPR:  “Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent. . .”

Disconnected Youth

Youth are worse off now than in 1990, By Allie Bidwell, June 30, 2014, US News and World Report: “By several measures, America is becoming more educated, but young people may have less opportunity now than in 1990. The national high school graduation rate is the highest it’s been in decades, and the percentage of adults with some form of college degree has also been on the rise. Nationwide, about 26 percent of adults over 25 had at least an associate’s degree in 2010. But there’s been a growing trend of inequality among young adults, according to a historical report from Opportunity Nation, a national campaign focused on expanding economic mobility, and Measure for America, a project of the Social Science Research Council. Since 1990, the percentage of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school has increased by 5 percent, to a national average of 14.7 percent . . .”

Youth Unemployment

In jobless youth, U.S. is said to pay high price, By Shaila Dewan, January 6, 2014, New York Times: “Persistent high unemployment among young people is adding up to $25 billion a year in uncollected taxes and, to a much smaller degree, increased safety net expenditures, a new report says. ‘The key takeaway here is that it’s not just the individuals who are suffering as members of our generation,’ said Rory O’Sullivan, the policy and research director of the Young Invincibles, a postrecession youth advocacy group, which did the study. ‘When you have an entire generation of people that are out of work, it’s going to create tremendous costs for taxpayers both now and in the future…'”

September 2013 US Unemployment Rate

  • U.S. gains 148,000 jobs; jobless rate, 7.2%, By Paul Davidson, October 22, 2013, USA Today: “Employers added a disappointing 148,000 jobs in September, extending a summer slowdown in payroll growth.The unemployment rate fell to 7.2% from 7.3%, the Labor Department said Tuesday.The closely-watched survey was scheduled to be released Oct. 4, but was delayed by the federal government shutdown.Economists’ consensus forecast had estimated that 180,000 jobs were added last month. Businesses added just 126,000 jobs, while federal, state and local governments added 22,000…”
  • Delayed Jobs Report Finds U.S. Adding Only 148,000 Jobs, By Catherine Rampell, October 22, 2013, New York Times: “American employers added 148,000 jobs in September, according to a delayed report released Tuesday by the Labor Department. The pace of growth was somewhat slower than what economists had been expecting. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent the previous month. Federal Reserve officials and economists are closely watching the report for any signs of weakness. But the numbers may not offer the most current picture of the economy…”
  • Unemployment drops to 5-year low, but job growth disappoints, By Don Lee, October 22, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low of 7.2% in September, the government reported Tuesday, but employers continued to show reluctance in hiring as they added a moderate 148,000 jobs over the month. The Labor Department report, delayed 2 1/2 weeks because of the partial federal government shutdown, reflected an economy growing at a lackluster rate. The latest job gains matched the pace since the start of summer but came in below Wall Street’s forecast for an increase of about 175,000 jobs. The disappointing growth is likely to reinforce the hesitance of Federal Reserve officials to begin a withdrawal of its monetary stimulus program…”
  • September jobs report shows young people still losing out, By Margaret Price, October 22, 2013, Christian Science Monitor: “Six years after finishing college – with a degree in molecular and cellular biology – Sydney Gray works 18 hours a week as a cashier at a New Orleans farmers’ market. Other times, she volunteers there to get free food. “I can’t even get a job waiting tables,” says Ms. Gray, whose two previous part-time jobs ended when the employers folded. “When I apply for jobs, I’m competing against people with master’s degrees and PhDs.” Today’s job market is not only grueling for young people, it’s also perplexing. The unemployment rate for 20 to 24-year-olds fell slightly to 12.9 percent in September, nearly six percentage points higher than the national average of 7.2 percent and slightly higher than that figure was in September 2012 (12.4 percent)…”
  • U.S. hiring slows in September to 126,000 private-sector jobs, By John Schmid, October 22, 2013, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “In a sign that the U.S. economy might be losing steam, American employers in September chalked up the second-worst month of hiring of the year with only 126,000 new private-sector jobs. The inability of Washington’s politicians to resolve a budget debt and deficit issues, most recently manifested in a 16-day partial government shutdown, perpetuates a chronic economic uncertainty that leaves employers too cautious to hire aggressively, economists said in reaction to Thursday’s jobs data. “September job growth was positive but disappointing,” and decidedly slower than many expected, said John Heywood, economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee…”

American Youth Not Employed or in School

New report finds 6M American youth neither working nor in school, Associated Press, October 21, 2013, Newsday: “Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday. That’s almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report. Other studies have shown that idle young adults are missing out on a window to build skills they will need later in life or use the knowledge they acquired in college. Without those experiences, they are less likely to command higher salaries and more likely to be an economic drain on their communities…”

Youth Unemployment – Europe

Euro leaders unite to tackle soaring youth unemployment rates, By Rupert Neate and Graeme Wearden, May 28, 2013, The Guardian: “European leaders yesterday warned that youth unemployment – which stands at up to 59% in some countries – could lead to a continent-wide ‘catastrophe’ and widespread social unrest aimed at member state governments. The French, German and Italian governments yesterday joined together to launch initiatives to ‘rescue an entire generation’ who fear they will never find jobs. More than 7.5m young Europeans aged between 15-24 are not employed or in education or training, according to European Union data. The rate of youth unemployment is more than double that of adults, and more than half of young people in Greece (59%) and Spain (55%) are unemployed…”

Men’s Employment Programs

Let them work: Men’s work programs give families and communities a leg up, By Mercedes White, May 5, 2013, Deseret News: “During the 40-minute commute to his job at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 28-year-old Greg Walton often takes time to reflect on his blessings. As he drives through the heart of Boston, across the Charles River and into Cambridge, Mass., he marvels at his fortune: a beautiful wife, a healthy 19-month-old son, a home and a good job. It’s an impressive result for a kid who came into the world with the odds stacked against him…”

Youth Unemployment

The idled young Americans, By David Leonhardt, May 3, 2013, New York Times: “The idle young European, stranded without work by the Continent’s dysfunction, is one of the global economy’s stock characters. Yet it might be time to add another, even more common protagonist: the idle young American. For all of Europe’s troubles — a left-right combination of sclerotic labor markets and austerity — the United States has quietly surpassed much of Europe in the percentage of young adults without jobs. It’s not just Europe, either. Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest…”

Youth Unemployment

Generation jobless, April 27, 2013, The Economist: “Helder Pereira is a young man with no work and few prospects: a 21-year-old who failed to graduate from high school and lost his job on a building site four months ago. With his savings about to run out, he has come to his local employment centre in the Paris suburb of Sevran to sign on for benefits and to get help finding something to do. He’ll get the cash. Work is another matter. Youth unemployment in Sevran is over 40%. A continent away in Athlone, a gritty Cape Town suburb, Nokhona, a young South African mother of two, lacks a ‘matric’ or high-school qualification, and has been out of work since October 2010, when her contract as a cleaner in a coffee shop expired. She hopes for a job as a maid, and has sought help from DreamWorker, a charity that tries to place young jobseekers in work. A counsellor helps Nokhona brush up her interview skills. But the jobless rate among young black South Africans is probably around 55%. Official figures assembled by the International Labour Organisation say that 75m young people are unemployed, or 6% of all 15- to 24-year-olds. But going by youth inactivity, which includes all those who are neither in work nor education, things look even worse…”

Foster Care System – Florida

  • Foster care bill would give kids more freedom, By Rochelle Koff, March 27, 2013, Tampa Bay Times: “Martin Gordon, 19, came to the Capitol to tell legislators his experiences in the foster care system hoping that his voice — and the voices of 26 other current and former foster care children — would make a difference. On Wednesday, they got their answer. The Florida Senate passed a bill 38-0 eliminating many of the restrictions that keep foster children from participating in normal activities, like a field trip, sleepover, sporting event, vacation or even a trip to the beach. The bill, SB 164, passed the House earlier this month and now heads to Gov. Rick Scott’ desk. Scott is expected to sign the measure…”
  • New program to provide jobs for foster-care youths in Orlando, By Kate Santich, March 26, 2013, Orlando Sentinel: “For scores of Central Florida foster teens who turn 18 each year, aging out of the state’s custody means no place to live, no job, no drivers license and no transportation. Although teen unemployment is at historically high levels, for foster youths the rate has been reported as high as 85 percent, and many end up homeless, in jail or on public assistance. That’s why local nonprofit agencies are teaming with foster-care officials to get them the internships and job-mentoring programs that are typically a rite of passage for other kids…”

Young Adults and Homelessness

After recession, more young adults are living on street, By Susan Saulny, December 18, 2012, New York Times: “Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third. Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch. ‘At any time I could lose my job, my security,’ said Mr. Taylor, explaining how he was always the last hired and the first fired. ‘I’d like to be able to support myself. That’s my only goal.’ Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults…”

Youth Unemployment – France

Young French Losing Hope as Prospects Fade, By Julia Amalia Heyer, December 14, 2012,  Spiegel International: “As in other struggling European economies, the youth of France face dire prospects. Some 26 percent are unemployed, and almost as many live in poverty. Though the problem has been there for decades, ambitious political programs have improved little…”

Youth Underemployment – Canada

The real youth jobs crisis: underemployment, By Tavia Grant, October 30, 2012, Globe and Mail: “Youth joblessness tends to garner all the headlines, but the more troubling trend may be the more hidden one: underemployment. A paper to be released Tuesday is urging more examination of the extent of youth underemployment in Canada and more research into the causes that are driving it. ‘Contrary to the highly visible issue of youth unemployment, underemployment is seldom spoken of,’ says a 61-page paper by the Certifi­ed General Accountants Association of Canada, which periodically publishes research on various aspects of the Canadian economy…”

Joblessness and Unemployment

  • Young adults drop out of the job market, By Chris Isidore, September 7, 2012, CNNMoney: “The drop in the unemployment rate in August isn’t particularly good news for the economy — it’s driven mostly by nearly 400,000 people dropping out of the labor force, rather than more people finding jobs.
    But those dropping out aren’t so much the discouraged 30-, 40- or 50-year olds. In fact, the Labor Department said there was a modest decline in the overall number of discouraged job seekers. The drop is because so many young adults, aged 16 to 24, are no longer looking for work…”
  • Hiring slows, adding to pressure on Fed and Obama, By Nelson D. Schwartz, September 7, 2012, New York Times: “Job growth slowed noticeably in August, increasing the political pressure on the White House and strengthening the argument for new action by Federal Reserve policy makers to stimulate the economy when they meet next week. The economy added a total of 96,000 jobs in August, down from a revised figure of 141,000 in July and well below the 125,000 level economists had been expecting. The latest figures confirm suspicions that the economy has been treading water recently – over the last six months, monthly job growth has averaged 97,000, typically not enough to absorb new entrants into the labor force, let alone reduce the unemployment rate…”
  • U.S. adds 96,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate drops to 8.1 percent, By Michael A. Fletcher, September 7, 2012, Washington Post: “U.S. job creation grew at a distressingly slow pace in August, as employers added just 96,000 positions and more discouraged people stopped looking for work, the Labor Department reported Friday. Despite the weak growth, the unemployment rate dipped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. But even that was bad news. The jobless rate shrank only because more than 300,000 workers dropped out of the labor force in August, following a trend that has accelerated with the nation’s economic problems. The Labor Department counts only those who are actively seeking a job as unemployed…”
  • Why August’s jobs number is likely wrong, By Zachary A. Goldfarb, September 7, 2012, Washington Post: “The news that the economy added just 96,000 jobs in August will be hotly debated by both sides in remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, but one thing is almost certain: The number is wrong. Only once in the past three decades has the government not revised its estimate of how many jobs were created in a given month. It usually takes many weeks, and sometimes years, before economists settle on the most accurate figure…”

Youth Unemployment – France

As youth unemployment soars, France offers to let companies hire young people on its dime, Associated Press, August 29, 2012, Washington Post: “The French government wants companies to hire young people so much that it’s offering to pick up the tab. The new Socialist president, Francois Hollande, told his Cabinet Wednesday that he wants to wage a war on unemployment and unveiled a plan for the government to pay most of the salaries of tens of thousands of young people hired next year. Unemployment in France is 10 percent, but nearly 23 percent for those under the age of 25. That’s an imbalance that many European countries are struggling with: In Spain, youth unemployment is over 52 percent; it’s 34 percent in Italy…”