New Record Low for U.S. Teen Summer Employment

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessThe national teen summer employment rate in 2011 is projected to fall to a historic low of only 25 to 27 percent, representing the lowest or second lowest ever summer employment rate for teens in post-WW II history. No other group of American working-age adults has seen such a dramatic decline in their overall employment rates over the past decade with the teen summer employment rate falling by nearly 19 percentage points over the past decade from nearly 46 percent in 2000 to just under 27 percent in 2010 – a 40 percent drop in their employment rate.

While the nation’s overall employment figures last year demonstrated an increased employment level of 866,000 between the first quarter of 2010 and 2011, actual teen employment for 16 to 19 year olds declined by 131,000. The rate of teen employment shows a nearly 20 percentage point drop since the first quarter of 2000 when the teen employment was at 45.2 percent. The Steep Decline in Teen Summer Employment in the U.S., 2000 – 2010 and the Bleak Outlook for the 2011 Summer Teen Job Market was released Monday, May 2 at a Youth Hearing on Summer Jobs and Opportunity held at the Chicago Urban League (CUL), with the Illinois State Council on Re-Enrolling Students Who Dropped Out of School, and the Alternative Schools Network (ASN).

Minority Teens Fare Worst in Job Employment

U.S. teen joblessness in 2009 for those 16 to 19 years of age overall experienced a 70 percent joblessness rate with Black teens leading by 79.4 percent, closely followed by Hispanic teens at 73.5 percent in comparison to white teens at only 65.7 percent. For the state of Illinois again Blacks led with an 86.7 percent jobless rate, Hispanics at 73.3 percent and Whites at 64.5 percent. Metro Chicago and the city of Chicago fared similarly with the Black joblessness rate respectively at 83.6 percent and 89.1 percent, Hispanics at 72.1 and 83.8 percent and Whites at 64.3 percent and 71.5 percent. Young adults from 20 to 24 years of age nationally fared somewhat better with Black joblessness rate at 46.6 percent compared to Hispanics at 35.2 percent and Whites at 32.4 percent. In Illinois Blacks again led at 57.9 percent, followed by Hispanics at 32.2 percent and Whites at 30 percent. Again the joblessness numbers grow in the metro and actual city of Chicago. Metro Chicago shows Black teen joblessness at 54.9 percent compared to Hispanics at 32.5 percent and Whites at 30.6 percent. The city young adult joblessness rate is highest with Blacks at 60 percent, Hispanics at 38.2 percent and Whites at 29.9 percent. With the loss of federal stimulus dollars, an additional 18,000 Illinois teens are projected to be jobless this summer.

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