Academic Literature

Teens and young adults employment plummeted between 2000 and 2011 in the Largest Us Metropolitan Areas study says

“Employment prospects for teens and young adults in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas plummeted between 2000 and 2011”  write Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, Mykhaylo Trubskyy, and Martha Ross with Walter McHugh and Sheila Palma in The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults on brookings.edu.

On a number of measures—employment rates, labor force underutilization, unemployment, and year-round joblessness—teens and young adults fared poorly, and sometimes disastrously. While labor market problems affected all young people, some groups had better outcomes than others: Non-Hispanic whites, those from higher income households, those with work experience, and those with higher levels of education were more successful in the labor market. In particular, education and previous work experience were most strongly associated with employment.

Employment rates showed a ‘Great Age Twist’ between 2000 and 2011

Individuals under age 54 were less likely to be working in 2011 than in 2000, with the sharpest declines among teens and young adults, while those 55 and over were more likely be working in 2011.

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TEENS AGED 16-19

Employment rates among teens declined dramatically, from 44 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2011, but showed variation by educational attainment and household income.

Only about half of high school graduates not enrolled in post-secondary education and less than 30 percent of high school dropouts worked in a given month in 2011.

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Teen employment rates are lower in households with lower incomes.

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‘Labor force underutilization’ reveals a bigger problem among teens than reflected in the official unemployment rate, and varies by race/ethnicity and educational attainment.

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Policy and program efforts to reduce youth joblessness and labor force underutilization should focus on the following priorities: incorporating more work-based learning (such as apprenticeships, co-ops, and internships) into education and training; creating tighter linkages between secondary and post-secondary education; ensuring that training meets regional labor market needs; expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit; and facilitating the transition of young people into the labor market through enhanced career counseling, mentoring, occupational and work-readiness skills development, and the creation of short-term subsidized jobs.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults 

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