A new report, 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., commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network (ASN) and developed by the University of Illinois Chicago’s Great Cities Institute (GCI), shows that teens and young adults in Chicago aren’t keeping up with the rest of the nation, or even with other major cities.
Even as the death toll mounts and gang battles escalate in the same neighborhoods where youth unemployment is at its highest, funding for employment programs is on increasingly shaky ground, with politics overriding policy at both the state and federal levels. The GCI report shows that despite a national economic recovery, Chicago remains one of the nation’s leaders in youth joblessness. Blacks and Hispanics continue to be significantly behind with 47 percent of young Black men (20-24) and 20 percent of young Hispanic men jobless and out of school in Chicago. This is compared to 32 percent nationwide and 31 percent in both New York and Los Angeles for Black men and 18 percent nationwide and in New York 27 percent and Los Angeles 14 percent for Hispanics.
The situation is even worse for Chicago’s Black and Hispanic teens (16-19) with 88 percent of Blacks and 85 percent of Hispanic’s in that group not working, compared to 71 percent nationwide.