The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teends and Young Adults

The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teends and Young Adults

Employment prospects for teens and young adults in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan
areas plummeted between 2000 and 2011. 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.
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.

Leave a comment

Back to Top