Teen job outlook bleak across the U.S.
Youth unemployment hits half-century high; reaches record level since World War II.
Across the U.S., more than 6.5 million teens and young adults are neither enrolled in school nor working. In Michigan alone, the number is more than 220,000 , reports WNEM.com.
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A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one of the largest private charitable organizations in the U.S. devoted to improving the lives of children, titled “Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity,” shares the following findings:
In 2000, 13 percent of Michigan residents ages 16 to 24 were jobless and not enrolled in school.
By 2012, that number rose to 17 percent, or 220,000.
The number of teens and young adults who are working has been on the decline nationwide.
26 percent of those ages 16 to 19 and only 61 percent of those ages 20 to 24 were working last year.
For Michigan, the employment rates were 29 percent for those 16 to 19, and 59 percent for those 20 to 24.
Together, 45 percent of those 16 to 24 had jobs in Michigan in 2011, down from 67 percent.
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Declining entry-level jobs means fewer prospects for young people, both in Michigan and from across the country, who lack training and education, the report says.
In a Huffington Post article, one of the report’s authors, Laura Speer, said, “The thing that you got and I got from our very first job is mostly about how to work.” She went on to emphasize the importance of early employment as a key to future success. “How to be on a team, how to have a boss, how to show up on time. And those -- what are termed as 'soft skills' -- are things that are really critically important going forward,” Speers said.
“All young people need opportunities to gain work experience and build the skills that are essential to being successful as an adult,” Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, was quoted. “Ensuring youth are prepared for the high-skilled jobs available in today’s economy must be a national priority, for the sake of their future roles as citizens and parents, the future of our workforce and the strength of our nation as a whole.”
Photo: KidStock/Getty Images
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