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The Young and the Jobless

TheYoung and the Jobless


Thisresearch paper will be focusing on the employment rate among theyouth in America during the period after the financial crisis. Theage group considered as the youth in this paper are those agedbetween 16 – 24 years. The importance of conducting this researchis significant since it will assist in analyzing the aftermath of therecession and its effects on the labor market. This will, in turn,assist all involved stakeholders like the government to understandthe youth employment rate and their contribution to the economy.Consequently, it will help the stakeholders to make clear,well-informed decisions based on the findings. There is adisproportion in the share of the labor market among the differentage-groups. The unemployment rate among the youth is higher after theeconomic recession and this paper addresses this problem. This paperpresents a data commentary about the findings and statistics behindyouth employment in America relative to the labor force and thepopulation as presented by Casselman, Ben, and Walker in &quotTheYoung and the Jobless&quot (2013).


Casselman,Ben, and Walker (2013) note that most Americans under the age of 25make up the biggest portion of the unemployed relative to the shareof the population. According to journaldata, 16 – 19-year-olds make up only 3.8% of the labor force in thecountry while those between 20 – 24 years have a 10% share in thelabor force. This is a disproportional share comparative to the totalpopulation of those between 16 – 24 years. The share of theunemployed is 11.2% and 16.4% for 16 – 19 years and 20 – 24 yearsrespectively. This brings the total share to almost 30%. It is acomparatively high proportion. Another claim in the article is thatthe change in the average weekly earnings from 2007 to 2012 among thedifferent age-groups is unfavorable to the youth. It shows that theyare progressively losing ground when it comes to weekly earnings. Inthe data, it shows that those between 16 – 19 years experienced a-4.6% change in average weekly earnings while those between 20 – 24years had a -6.9% change. The data demonstrates a high rate ofdecline in weekly earnings among the youth. In comparison, thischange was distributed among the other age groups as follows

Age %change in weekly earnings

25– 34 -0.7%,

35– 44 +0.8%,

45– 54 +0.4%

55– 64 +0.9%.

Apartfrom those between 25 – 34 years who experienced a slight drop, therest of the age groups increased their weekly earnings after therecession at the expense of the youth. This data is calculated andadjusted for inflation. According to Casselman, Ben, and Walker(2013), in , many of the youths are stayingin school in a bid to escape the harsh reality in the job market.This is a claim that is further supported by Casey (2012) who claimsthat the rate of those who are enrolled in school is increasing whilethe same cannot be said for those who are out of school and working.Statistics also show that the rate of those who are neither in schoolnor working is also on an upward trend. Those who are in employmenttoo are not having it easy. Most are working part-time and thepercentage of those in full-time jobs is on a downward trend. It isalso claimed that those working are doing so for fewer hourssubsequently earning less money than the period before the economicrecession.


Thisdata implies that the youth have been hardest hit by the economicrecession which only favored the older, more experienced andwealthier workforce. There is need of re-evaluating the employmentpolicies in the country in favor of the youth as they are moreenergetic and productive in addition to forming the biggercomposition of those willing and able to work. This will reduce theunemployment rate to more manageable standards.


AnnieE. Casey: Youthand Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity. (2012).

Casselman,Ben, Marcus Walker, and Like so many young Americans. &quotWanted:Jobs for the New’Lost’Generation.&quot WallStreet Journal, September 13th: (2013).