WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) office announced the beginning of a multi-part initiative to address high rates of youth unemployment. The starting point is an effort to highlight summer internship programs offered by New Jersey’s employers to help make young New Jerseyans aware of local openings.
Booker is encouraging New Jersey businesses large and small to tell him about their summer internship programs at www.booker.senate.gov/njinterns. He will then highlight the businesses over his social media platforms, which reach millions.
“New Jersey businesses do so much to create opportunity and strengthen communities,” Booker said. “And helping young people acquire the skills they need to join a 21st century workforce is key to the state’s long-term economic health.
“That’s why I’m committed to highlight and celebrate businesses that are investing in our youth and to help make young New Jerseyans aware of employers in their communities that are looking to hire for the summer.”
According to a recent study conducted by youth advocacy organization the Young Invincibles, young Americans aged 18-34 have now seen double digit unemployment rates for more than 70 consecutive months, and the youngest workers, aged 16-24, face an unemployment rate more than twice the national average.
The failure to acquire work experience early on has a big impact on earnings over the years and reduces productivity. But high youth unemployment isn’t just bad for young workers. It is bad for the whole economy.
According to the study, the US is losing $25 billion annually because of severely high young adult unemployment, and each unemployed person between 18 and 24 will cost his or her federal and state government over $4,100 annually.
Importantly, persistently high youth unemployment is a significant part of the overall unemployment picture in the US – a nagging problem making it hard for all workers to see wage gains. If we move closer to full employment, workers’ bargaining power will increase, which will likely cause wages to rise.
“We’re in this economy together. What affects my neighbor – or my neighbor’s child – affects me, affects us all,” Booker said. “For many young people, a summer job sticks with them for years and often creates a blueprint for their professional ambitions. I want to help young New Jerseyans learn about businesses in their communities that are looking to hire for the summer and ensure that businesses in our state get the recognition they deserve for investing in our youth.”
Businesses are encouraged to sign up at www.booker.senate.gov/njinterns to register existing or new internship programs. All opportunities will be highlighted on Senator Booker’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.