Tuesday, May 3, 2011

African-American teens face 90% summer unemployment rate

Feel like screaming "Get a job!" to your teenager this summer? Parental threats of no car keys, groundings or taking phones away if they don't find work may not do much good when there are few jobs for teens to even land.

Reuters reports just one in four U.S. teens -- a record-low and the worst rate since World War II -- will be able to secure a summer job this year. As a result, urban studies experts tell the news service, big cities such as Chicago could see more street violence.

"Both national and local leadership continue to ignore the plight of youth who are most at risk for potential violence as a result of being left on the streets in the summer months when crime is at its most explosive," Chicago Urban League President Andrea Zopp tells Reuters in a statement.

In Chicago, the news service reports, 16- to 19-year-old African-Americans face a nearly 90 percent summer unemployment rate, while the summer employment rate for teens nationwide is expected to be about 25 percent, according to an analysis by Andrew Sum of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.

Experts tell Reuters no summer jobs for teens can result in a less-experienced work force and "increased government spending due to lower lifetime earnings, reduced tax revenues and higher prison costs."

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