US Youth Unemployment: Six Million Young Americans Aren’t Doing School Or Work

A youth unemployment study finds that nearly 15 percent of Americans aged 16 to 24 are not working. The study’s figures include youth who aren’t in school, either. The new study shows that almost six million youths are struggling to find their place in society.

The findings come from a recent study, the 2013 Opportunity Index, published by Opportunity Nation. The study looks at a number of factors to evaluate economic opportunity, including youth unemployment. Opportunity Nation is a coalition of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and policy experts with the goal of increasing economic stability in the US.

As RT reports, the report claims North Dakota, Vermont, and Minnesota are the top states for youth opportunity. The worst states for young people seeking support and opportunity? Mississippi, Nevada, and New Mexico, according to the report. Many of the biggest cities in the US, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Miami, each have youth unemployment numbers above 100,000.

Are these just a bunch of lazy, entitled youths being willful drains on society? Not so fast, says Opportunity Nation Executive Director Mark Edwards. He argues that American youths can’t simply be dismissed. Young people just haven’t been given a chance, Edwards says.

The study also shows that economic mobility is in decline in the US. Last year all but one state saw more families falling into poverty. Considering their finding that household median income has dropped in 45 states, this is not a surprise.

As Huffington Post points out, however, overall unemployment rates have fallen across all age groups in recent times. If that sounds like a glimmer of good news, then keep in mind that this is likely a result of many Americans simply giving up the job hunt.

With the Opportunity Nation’s findings on youth unemployment, it is worth pointing out that the IRS reported that 2012 saw income gap between the wealthiest one percent of Americans and the rest widen to record sizes.

[Image via ShutterStock]

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