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High youth unemployment costs U.S. billions a year, study says

LA Times 

By: Shan Li

Stubbornly high unemployment among millennials costs the U.S. billions in lowered tax revenue and higher safety net costs, according to one study.

Millennials — defined as those 18 to 34 years old — have suffered from double-digit jobless rates for almost six years, according to a study by youth advocacy group Young Invincibles. The youngest, aged 16 to 24, suffer from 15% unemployment, the highest rates among youth.

The long-term consequences of high unemployment in an entire generation of young people has been well researched, with echoes throughout their careers in the form of lower earnings and fewer job opportunities.

But the short-term costs stack up high as well, adding up to almost $8.9 billion a year, the report concluded.

On average, a single 18- to -24-year-old without a job will cost the government over $4,100 a year in uncollected taxes and extra safety net benefits. That amount climbs to $9,900 annually among unemployed 25- to 34-year-olds.

If those costs were billed directly to taxpayers, each one would have to shell out an additional $53 a year.

“The young adult unemployment crisis affects everyone,” the report said. “Taxpayers of all generations bear the burden.”