A new study published by The Opportunity Nation has found that nearly 6M young people in the United States (or 15% of those aged 16-24) aren't in school or working.
A lot depends on the state in which young people live:
- In the past year, 49 states have seen an increase in the number of families living in poverty and 45 states have seen household median incomes fall.
- Tracking 16 factors--for example, Internet access, college graduation rates, income inequality, and public safety--the study found that the states which are doing well for young people include Vermont, Minnesota and North Dakota. The worst states? Nevada, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
- In Mississippi and West Virginia, 20% of young people are idle. Mississippi has an overall unemployment rate of 8%. West Virginia's rate is nearly 7%.
Then, too, there's the zip code. Among the nation's urban centers:
- Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif., all have more than 100k idle young people.
Here's the problem: Idle young people are not learning and developing the skills they will need later in life or, for those who have attended college, using the knowledge they have already acquired.
Here's the issue: Forget that these young people are more likely in the near term to fill low-paying jobs. In the long term, they are more likely to become an dependent on government handouts.
Five years into the Obama administration, how's that "hopium" and "changium" feeling if you're 16-24 years of age?
Let the discussion begin...
To read The Opportunity Nation report, click on the following link: