The Next Crisis: High Teen Unemployment

The Prez heads back to the Rose Garden today to unveil details of his American Jobs Act. Ah, didn’t he do that last Thursday night during his speech before the joint session of Congress? Meh

Maybe Michelle Malkin can make some sense out of all of this.

Then again — maybe not.

Clearly, we need to create and sustain millions of jobs so that people can enter or in many cases these days reenter the job market.

I’m not sure that Stimulus Two will get us there. And it certainly wasn’t a confidence builder to read the NYT article Sunday, “Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur“:

The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama’s jobs plan — while welcome — will change their minds any time soon.

That sentiment was echoed across numerous industries by executives in companies big and small on Friday, underscoring the challenge for the Obama administration as it tries to encourage hiring and perk up the moribund economy.

Saying all that, we need to do something to “jump start” the economy and create the demand for products and services that will allow private sector employers to hire. Here’s an interesting perspective from Robert J. Samuelson opining in WaPo, “Job Creation 101.”

And while the situation is bad today, we face even more problems in the years ahead if today’s young people don’t have the opportunity to enter the job market, even in seasonal or part-time positions.

Here’s an interesting article from USA Today, “Summer ends on sour note for jobless teens“:

Summer’s unofficial end closed out a dismal season for working teen-agers.

The unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds ticked up to 25.4% in August from 25% the previous month, the Labor Department said last week. For black teens, unemployment leaped to 46.5% from 39.2% in July. The nation’s jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1%.

Equally disconcerting: the jobless rate for teens of all races has hovered around 25% all summer each of the past three years, marking the worst such stretch on records back to 1948.

Summer teenage unemployment averaged 13% in 2000 and 15.8% as recently as 2007.

The prolonged slump has serious implications for America’s future adult workers. Summer jobs are critical for teaching youths “soft skills,” such as how to deal with customers and managers, says Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute.

A 1995 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found high school seniors who worked 20 hours a week can expect to earn 21% more in annual salary and 11% higher hourly wages six to nine years later.

Yet just 29.6% of all teens worked this summer, tying last year’s all time low. In 2000, more than half of teens worked.

Gotta get people working.



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