Driven by long‐term shifts in the labor market and on‐going poverty and inequality, youth employment challenges have mounted steadily over the last decade and reached a crisis point in the wake of the Great Recession. Youth unemployment in 2010 reached its highest level since World War II. The short‐ and long‐term consequences of youth unemployment are severe. Individuals who fail to transition to stable jobs by their early 20s are at risk of experiencing more frequent and prolonged spells of joblessness, permanently lower earnings, and greater difficulty building a secure financial future for themselves and their families. Ultimately, youth unemployment and associated challenges threaten to perpetuate cycles of intergenerational poverty for individuals and communities.