A new report illustrates some stark figures on youth unemployment in Chicago and suggests joblessness is worse there than other major American cities for Black and Hispanic teens and young adults.

The report, entitled: Lost: The Crisis of Jobless and Out of School Teens and Young Adults in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Illinois and the U.S. was released Monday by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago and produced for the Alternative Schools Network.



The data in the study compared unemployment among young men and women in Chicago with national numbers and found serious problems in the city with youth unemployment.

Among the findings:

·      In Chicago, the jobless rate for Black, 16- to 19-year-olds was 88 percent in 2014. For Hispanic and Latino youth of the same age, the rates was 85 percent.

·      Joblessness in 2014 was at 59 percent for Blacks aged 20-24, and 37 percent for Hispanics and Latinos, compared with 27 percent for White non-Hispanic or Latino youth of the same age.

·      Nearly 41 percent of Blacks aged 20-24 were both unemployed and out of school, almost seven times the rate in Illinois, 50 percent higher than New York City, nearly 40 percent higher than Los Angeles and nearly 44 percent higher than the U.S. rate.

According to the study:

The result is a cycle, where the “permanent scars” lead to conditions that are both a consequence and a precipitating factor that leads to further youth unemployment and parallel social conditions. For example, in areas with high rates of teenage pregnancy, babies are being born to “babies” in households with high rates of poverty and low levels of employment where feelings of low self-esteem, depression, and powerlessness are often accompanied by substance abuse and in many cases, violence and crime.

Researchers concluded that the joblessness situation for minority youth is “chronic and concentrated” with conditions in Chicago among the most dramatically disproportionate in comparison with Los Angeles, New York and national averages.

They urge remedies to the disparities because they threaten to continue cycles of poverty and crime for families and neighborhoods.

Click here to read the full report.



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