Analyzes current labor force data for teens and young adults, providing policy recommendations for increasing employment opportunities for teens 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” (p.1).

“Given differing expectations and experiences regarding education and employment, this analysis separately examines teens aged 16-19 and young adults aged 20-24, and uses multiple measures of labor force and employment activities among young people in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas” (p.2). This report analyses data gathered from the monthly Current Population Surveys (CPS) from selected years 2000-2011, the March CPS supplements, 2000-2011, and the American Community Surveys for selected years from 2006-2011. Further, this report provides policy recommendations for increasing employment prospects for young teens while providing specific examples of success stories. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Integrate work-based learning opportunities into high school and college education, and expand apprenticeships” (p.20). • "Link high school to post-secondary educational credentials” (p.20). • “Smooth young people’s transition into employment, especially high school graduates who do not immediately enroll in college or an apprenticeship, through increased emphases on career and technical education, career counseling, and job development/placement” (p.21). • “Provide opportunities for young people to earn a high school diploma or GED after dropping out, coupled with access to post-secondary credentials/occupational skills training and a focus on work readiness” (p.22). • “Orient career-focused education and training to the regional labor market” (p.22). • “To address weak demand for labor, create transitional subsidized jobs programs for young people to help them support themselves, develop work experience, and gain a foothold in the labor market” (p.22). • “Increase financial incentives for employment through an expanded EITC, specifically targeting younger workers without children” (p.23). (Abstractor: Author)