Forum on Memphis Young Adult Unemployment Outlines Crisis, Solutions That Put People Back to Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2013

Contact:
Dustin Summers, dustin.summers@younginvincibles.org, 202-534-3564
Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org, 214-223-2913

Forum on Memphis Young Adult Unemployment Outlines Crisis, Solutions That Put People Back to Work

Event Comes On the Heels of New Report Showing the Coming Years Will Be Pivotal to the Economic Future of Tennessee’s Young Adults

[MEMPHIS, Tenn.] – On Tuesday, July 16, Young Invincibles, in conjunction with the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center, will be hosting a public forum on local job training programs and the high rate of unemployment among young Tennesseans (ages 18 to 34).

This event is part of Young Invincibles’ national “Get the Facts about Youth Jobs” campaign, which will serve to both educate local organizations regarding the job market for young adults and afford community stakeholders the opportunity to discuss with the public what is working best to train young adults for careers. This latest event comes on the heels of a new fact sheet [http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/get-the-facts-about-youth-unemployment-in-tennessee/] by Young Invincibles on youth unemployment in Tennessee, which found:

• Tennessee has a lower young adult unemployment rate (13.3%) than the national average (16.2%); however, young adults in the state fare worse than their elders as the state has an 8.0% unemployment rate.
• While some have enjoyed marginally higher wages, a much smaller share of young people (ages 18 to 24) have a job today – (54%) compared to 2005 (63%). Studies show that lack of early work experience dims career prospects.

Representatives from Sen. Lamar Alexander, from the Greater Memphis Chamber, the Workforce Investment Network (WIN), The White House Initiative on Strong Cities, Strong Communities and Mayor A. C. Wharton’s office have all confirmed their attendance. Former national Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Naomi Earp will also be in attendance.

What: Public forum on Tennessee’s youth unemployment crisis and solutions workshop to address epidemic
When: Tuesday, July 16 at 10am-12pm
Where: Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center (1555 McAlister Dr.; Memphis, TN 38116)

Forum participants will take a brief tour of the Center, and photographers and videographers are welcome. Participants will be available at the end for interviews, but if you would like to schedule an advance interview, please contact Dustin or Colin with Young Invincibles. For more information, please visit http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/

###

Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans, aged 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young Americans are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

Share Button

Job training lifeline nears end of its rope

July 9th in Seattle Times Blog NWJobs

By Randy Woods

Of all the demographics affected by the Great Recession, few have been as hard-hit as our youngest workers. While our statewide unemployment rate currently stands at 6.8 percent, the rate for the 16-to-24 demographic is more than double that rate, at 16.7 percent. For those young workers who also come from broken families or have criminal records, the outlook for employment is even bleaker.

For the past few years, however, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor has offered a lifeline to young job seekers who were about to fall through the cracks of the system. CalledYouthBuild, the program offers homeless and low-income people ages 16 to 24 job-training programs in the construction industry via a series of classes at South Seattle Community College (SSCC).

The program, administered by homeless-youth organization YouthCare, selects the most promising at-risk young people to work for six to 24 months building affordable housing while they study to earn their high school diplomas or GEDs. During the program, they attend SSCC classes to learn construction trade skills such as carpentry, roofing, demolition, plumbing and electrical systems. They also learn crucial interpersonal skills, such as working well with others, presenting themselves in a professional manner and sticking to a disciplined routine.

The effectiveness of the Seattle YouthBuild program is indisputable. In 2012, YouthBuild’s graduation rate was 94 percent, with 29 out of 31 enrollees completing the program. Every one of these workers was able to find employment or an apprenticeship within three months of graduation. According to YouthCare figures, YouthBuild has a return on investment of at least $10.80 for every dollar spent on the program.

But the outlook for the program is far from rosy. On July 2, YouthBuild held a roundtable forum at SSCC’s Georgetown campus to discuss the very real possibility of the program’s demise due to the federal sequestration actions earlier this year in Congress.

In June, the leaders of YouthBuild were told that the grant from the Labor Department would not be renewed for the rest of 2013. “Hence we find ourselves with a shortage of about $200,000 to $250,000 to keep the doors open until the next funding round is announced next June,” said Melinda A. Giovengo, executive director of YouthCare. “Without additional funds, the program can take no new young people after this group graduation and we will begin shutting down services in late October.”

During the roundtable event, the words from the dozen or so new YouthBuild graduates present were far more moving than any statistics:

  • “I never thought I could actually do this. … Now, I feel like I can do anything. This program was able to open another side of me.”
  • “I grew up with a lot of adversity. I came from a family that struggled with economic issues. I’m here because of programs like this. It helped protect me from going down the wrong path.”
  • “I’ve been in and out of jail. … If someone gives me an opportunity, gives me another chance, I want to prove that I’m not some monster. I’ve got all these new skills which have changed my whole outlook on life.”
  • “I can say this program saved my life. I wanted to do something different with my life. … I want to show my son around Seattle and say to him, ‘Hey I built that.’ If not for this program, I’d still be smoking weed and worrying about the cops.”

Giovengo says YouthCare will apply to the next federal grant cycle in December, but until then will be seeking alternative funding sources to keep YouthBuild going, including private donations and possible assistance from the city of Seattle, King County and the state.

Share Button

Summer Solstice and The Decrease of The Summer Job

By Ben Tumin

June 21st is my mom’s birthday, the best day of the entire year after my own birthday. Why? In addition to thinking very highly of my mother, her birthday is the longest day of the year and the official kickoff for summer. Summer is the season for barbeques, swimming in vibrant bathing suits, and … summer jobs?

People may still be lighting up their grills this season, but high summer employment rates for many members of our generation are a thing of the past.

With students on summer vacation, you might think that more young people are employed during the summer. Students need to work during the summer to save up money for the school year, right?

Unfortunately, not so many succeed in finding jobs. Over the decade, there has been trend of low youth employment in July, with a record low in 2010 and small increases in 2011 and 2012.

In 2010, the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics gave some possible explanations for the low summer employment trend:

  • More competition over entry-level jobs that were once available to students;
  • Fewer federally funded summer jobs were available;
  • With fewer jobs around, more students chose to study so that when it was their turn to graduate they would be able to grab the entry-level jobs that aren’t available to them now.

Those trends are likely to stick around this year. Unemployment rates among young people are still high, and sequestration eliminated even more jobs.

What impact do you think the decrease in summer employment will have on our generation?

 

Share Button

Millennials and the Need for Public Transportation: Welcome to Duluth!

By Adrianne Burke

I use public transportation regularly. In fact, I pretty much rely on public transportation (or walking, now that the weather warm), and I couldn’t imagine it not being an option for me. But I live in DC, where I never have to ask, “How am I ever going to get there?”

If there weren’t public transportation options in the DC area, I and countless other locals would lose access to a significant portion of available job opportunities, and this is exactly what’s happening in the suburbs of Atlanta, where Young Invincibles spent some time recently talking about youth unemployment.

Duluth: Life in the Sprawl

Atlanta has a pretty substantial public transportation system, but the further from the city you live, the more difficult is it is to find regular public transportation. Duluth, home of the Goodwill – North Georgia, a stop in our ongoing national youth jobs tour, is actually more than 25 miles outside of Atlanta; and public transportation in the city is extremely limited, if it even exists at all.

Like many Goodwills, this site offers substantial jobs training programs. Programs vary by center, but Goodwill’s North Georgia center has a program designed specifically to help youth and young adults make it in today’s job market.

When we talked to program participants about their experiences, they were confident in their ability to develop the skills needed to be competitive in the workforce.  However, external challenges such as transportation played a major role in their confidence of being able to sustain long-term employment.

A recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited research by the Brookings Institute that highlighted correlation between public transportation and employment.

  • 88% of the region’s poor lives in suburbs, less than a third of suburban residents have access to transit
  • Only 17% the region’s jobs are within a 90-minute commute

When you live in a state where 20% of young people are unemployed, you can assume that public transportation has significant impact on youth unemployment.

For example, one young man at Goodwill’s North Georgia’s youth program was recently offered a new job working in the mail delivery industry.  Unfortunately, he had to decline the position because the commute involved him walking on highways and busy streets for more than an hour – and it was deemed too unsafe by the Goodwill. The position also required that he have reliable transportation, and since he can’t afford a car, his job opportunities are limited to his own neighborhood.

We have lots more to report from Atlanta, but one thing became very clear on our trip to Duluth: solutions to the youth unemployment crisis facing Georgia and our nation will require a multi-faceted approach.

Have you ever experienced so much difficulty getting to a job that you had to consider quitting? Sound off in the comment section.

Share Button

New Unemployment Rate: Millennial Joblessness Jumps to 11.6%, and That’s Bad News If You’re Looking For Work

June 7, 2013 in Policy Mic

by Rory O’Sullivan

Last month, the economy added 175,000 jobs while the national unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6% from 7.5% last month. For millennials ages 18 to 29, the unemployment rate rose from 11.1% in April 2013 to 11.6% in May 2013 (not seasonally adjusted), according to Generation Opportunity, wiping out the previous month’s gains. For younger workers ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate rose .2 percentage points to 16.3% (seasonally adjusted).

This is bad news heading into June. Summer is a time when many younger adults get their first jobs. Early work experience is vital not just for earning a little spending money, but also for building a successful career down the road. Moreover, the country as a whole benefits from higher individual wages because it means more taxes paid and less reliance on public benefits.

However, the dismal youth job market continues to deny our generation essential opportunities – and teens are among the hardest hit. Since the start of the recession in 2008, teen unemployment has remained well over 20%, and it’s not looking good going into summer this year. Right now, 16 to 19 year olds face a 24.1% unemployment rate. Worse still, this figure only takes into account teens who are looking for jobs, ignoring discouraged teens who have stopped looking for work entirely. The true teen jobless rate is much higher. Rampant teen unemployment threatens serious long-term consequences for the future of the country.

The Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at how teen unemployment affects communities across the country. See how your state stacks up by visiting their interactive map.

If you want to do something about the problem, come join us at Young Invincibles. We’re working with job training programs across the country to educate people about the ongoing youth employment crisis and the solutions available to solve it.

Share Button

Unemployment Among Young Adults Decreasing in Texas, But Ever So Slowly

June 3, 2013 in Dallas Observer

by Brantley Hargrove

The workers bearing the disproportionate brunt of the recession are young, underemployed or unemployed and struggling to gain a foothold at a critical stage in life. In Texas, the overall unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. The number of unemployed, aged 16 to 24, is more than double that, a report finds.

Because these numbers pertain to an entire generation — comprising mostly the oft-reviled Millennials — they should be of concern for every living generation. They are the future, and right now a big chunk of that future is failing to launch.

According to Young Invincibles, a national organization dedicated to expanding work opportunities for young adults, increased college enrollment is only part of this story. More young people are taking part-time work and fewer are finding full-time jobs. Since the precipitous fall in the number of young Texans with full-time jobs in 2007 — some 10 percent in the space of just a few years — the numbers are beginning a very, very modest rebound.

But the group urges caution before we all start high-fiving and proclaiming the great recession at an end. Stocks may be hitting historic highs; home prices may be edging up again; and job creation may just barely be keeping pace with population growth. Yet participation in the workforce of those 55 and older is rising, while it continues to fall among the young.

It may take them years — even a decade — to realize the kinds of wages they would have earned in bumper times. College grads who enter the workforce during an economic downturn, if they find work at all, are often underemployed, and the stain on a career track persists. Yale study found. “The coming years will be pivotal to the economic future of Texas’ young adults,” the group says.

Oddly enough, these Millennials, despite being dealt a terrible hand at the beginning of their professional lives, were found to be optimistic about the future of this country, even as it sank into the depths of economic malaise, Pew research said. And if there’s one thing young folks looking for work in Texas and elsewhere could use right about now, it’s a little hope.

Share Button

Local Event to Showcase Solutions to Youth Unemployment that Work; New Report Calls Unemployment Rates A Crisis for Young People in Ohio

[COLUMBUS, Ohio] – Tomorrow, Young Invincibles will join with Sojourners of McArthur, an Ohio YouthBuild program, for a tour of facilities and a roundtable to discuss solutions to the youth unemployment crisis in Ohio.

In a time of across-the-board budget cuts, dismal job prospects continue to leave young Americans unsure about their economic future. Currently, young adults face a national unemployment rate of 16.3 percent, which is over twice the national average. In Ohio, the unemployment rate for young adults is nearly twice the state average.

Young Invincibles will partner with Sojourners of McArthur to hear first-hand about innovative solutions to the youth employment crisis in Southeastern Ohio. Young adults at Sojourners receive educational support to earn their high school diploma or GED, while also learning construction skills by building houses for low-income families.

Members of the media are invited to tour the YouthBuild facility, meet with program administrators and hear about the many opportunities available to young people because of the necessary programs offered. Young Invincibles and Sojourners will also conduct a roundtable of current and graduating Sojourners YouthBuild students. Please email brian.burrell@younginvincibles.org for further information or to RSVP.

WHAT: Get the Facts About Youth Jobs: YouthBuild Facility Tour and Roundtable Discussion
WHERE: Sojourners Training Center, 62969 US Highway 50 McArthur, OH 45651
WHEN: June 13, 2013 1:00 -3:30 PM

Young Invincibles released a detailed analysis of unemployment for young people in Ohio alongside this week’s event. The fact sheet, GET THE FACTS About Youth Unemployment in Ohio [http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/get-the-facts-about-youth-unemployment-in-ohio/] gives an in-depth look into how economic opportunity for young adults in the state has fallen.

  • Only 49 percent of young people who have a job are working full-time, down from 57 percent in 2005.
  • Young people in Ohio between the ages of 25 and 34 make over $5,500 less today than in 2005.

Young Invincibles is leading the charge on this issue, conducting a national tour to highlight the need to push for policies that double down on workforce training and higher education and that will safeguard our country’s economic future.

For information please visit http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/

###

Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans, aged 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young Americans are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

Share Button

New Unemployment Rate: Millennial Joblessness Jumps to 11.6%, and That’s Bad News If You’re Looking For Work

By Rory O’Sullivan & Brian Burrell

Last month, the economy added 175,000 jobs while the national unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6% from 7.5% last month. For millennials ages 18 to 29, the unemployment rate rose from 11.1% in April 2013 to 11.6% in May 2013 (not seasonally adjusted), according to Generation Opportunity, wiping out the previous month’s gains. For younger workers ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate rose .2 percentage points to 16.3% (seasonally adjusted).

This is bad news heading into June. Summer is a time when many younger adults get their first jobs. Early work experience is vital not just for earning a little spending money, but also for building a successful career down the road. Moreover, the country as a whole benefits from higher individual wages because it means more taxes paid and less reliance on public benefits.

However, the dismal youth job market continues to deny our generation essential opportunities – and teens are among the hardest hit. Since the start of the recession in 2008, teen unemployment has remained well over 20%, and it’s not looking good going into summer this year. Right now, 16 to 19 year olds face a 24.1% unemployment rate. Worse still, this figure only takes into account teens who are looking for jobs, ignoring discouraged teens who have stopped looking for work entirely. The true teen jobless rate is much higher. Rampant teen unemployment threatens serious long-term consequences for the future of the country.

The Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at how teen unemployment affects communities across the country. See how your state stacks up by visiting their interactive map.

If you want to do something about the problem, come join us at Young Invincibles. We’re working with job training programs across the country to educate people about the ongoing youth employment crisis and the solutions available to solve it.

Share Button

Long Summer Ahead for Young Adults: May Jobs Report Wipes Out Gains For Young Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2013
Contact
Rae Roca
rae.roca@younginvincibles.org
202.534.3564

Long Summer Ahead for Young Adults: May Jobs Report Wipes Out Gains For Young Americans

[WASHINGTON, DC] — The economy added 175,000 jobs in May 2013 while the national unemployment rate rose from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent. For 18 to 29 year-olds, the unemployment rate rose from 11.1 percent in April 2013 to 11.6 percent in May 2013 (not seasonally adjusted). For younger workers ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate rose from 16.1 percent in April 2013 to 16.3 percent in May 2013 (seasonally adjusted).

Rory O’Sullivan, Policy Director at Young Invincibles, said, “Despite the added jobs and for the economy as a whole, the gains have failed to benefit young Americans. With many younger adults entering the workforce as school lets out, it could be a long summer for our generation. Missing out on early work experience like a summer job can lead to lower wages and less work later on in life, leaving a lasting impact on the entire country. ”

Here is more information on how different populations of young people fared in May 2013:

• The unemployment rate for Black young adults ages 16 to 24 in May is 28.2 percent compared to 24.9 percent last month (not seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young Latinos ages 16 to 24 in May is 16.6 percent – the same as last month (not seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young men ages 16 to 24 in May is 18.0 percent compared to 17.1 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young women ages 16 to 24 in May is 14.6 percent, compared to 15.0 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).

• Overall youth unemployment for 18 to 29 year-olds is 11.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent a year ago in May 2012 (not seasonally adjusted).

Young Invincibles is currently in the middle of a Get The Facts national tour to highlight youth-focused job training and workforce programs that put our generation back to work. To coincide with the tour, Young Invincibles is releasing 50 state-specific reports to educate the public about how young adults are faring economically across the country.

Learn more about the “Get The Facts” Campaign at: jobs.younginvincibles.org.

###
Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young Americans are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

Share Button

Reportaje nuevo llama a los niveles de desempleo una crisis para los adultos jóvenes en Texas

Para su difusión inmediata
29 de Mayo 2013

Contacto:
Rae Roca
Rae.Roca@younginvincibles.org
202.378.3526

Reportaje nuevo llama a los niveles de desempleo una crisis para los adultos jóvenes en Texas
En Texas, el nivel de desempleo es 13.5% para los adultos jóvenes entre 16 y 24 años

[AUSTIN, Texas] – En una época de recortes presupuestarios, la falta de trabajos continua dejando a los jóvenes Americanos inseguros sobre sus futuros. Actualmente, el nivel de desempleo nacional para los jóvenes es 16.1%, un porcentaje más del doble del nivel nacional de todas las edades. En Texas, el nivel de desempleo para los adultos jóvenes es casi el doble del nivel nacional.

Young Invincibles ha publicado un análisis sobre el nivel de desempleo para los jóvenes en Texas. El folleto de datos, “GET THE FACTS About Youth Unemployment in Texas” [http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/get-the-facts-about-youth-unemployment-in-texas /] enseña la forma en que se han reducido las oportunidades económicas para los jóvenes en el estado.

  • Sólo 62% de adultos jóvenes con trabajo están trabajando de tiempo completo, a comparación del año 2005 donde el numero era 67%.
  • El número de adultos jóvenes que tienen empleo ha bajado de 59% en el año 2005 a sólo 54% actualmente.

Por eso, Young Invincibles esta haciéndose cargo de este tema, empezando una gira de empleo (Jobs Tour) para resaltar la necesidad de impulsar políticas que trabajan para la capacitación laboral y educación superior y que salvará el futuro económico de nuestro país.

Para más información visita http://jobs.younginvincibles.org/

###

Young Invincibles es una organización nacional comprometida a amplificar las voces de los jóvenes Americanos entre los 18 y 34 años, y que expande oportunidades económicas para nuestra generación. Young Invincibles asegura que jóvenes Americanos están representados en las debates sociales más urgentes a través de investigaciónes y el análisis de la política y campañas innovadoras diseñadas para educar, informar y movilizar a nuestra generación para cambiar el status quo.

Share Button