December 6th, 2012
05:09 PM ET

Bleak outlook for young workers

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) - "America's young people stand last in line for jobs."

That's the warning from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charity that aims to assist underprivileged children in the U.S.  The organization recently released a report that says youth employment is at its lowest level since the second World War.

The foundation says that only about half of Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 had jobs in 2011.  And when you look at the numbers for the teenagers in that group, 25% percent of them were employed last year - a significant drop from the year 2000, when 46% of teenagers had jobs.

The lingering effects of the Great Recession are largely to blame here.  Entry-level jobs at restaurants and clothing retailers have increasingly gone to more experienced, more qualified workers, according to the study.  This has left young people without a paycheck and without the workplace experience that could help them later in their careers.

It also places a burden on taxpayers, as the federal and local governments spend more to support young, unemployed workers.

The foundation lists a number of recommendations for addressing the issue.  You can view the full report here.

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Filed under: After High School • Carl Azuz • CNN Student News • Economy • education
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    If I could go back in time to my high school years, I wouldn't have wasted my time slogging fries or bagging groceries for peanuts on my free time, I would have divided it between weight training (helps you in your older years) and learning as much about electronics, math and computation as I could before heading off to college.

    December 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  2. Jim

    Why would a company want to hire a young worker when they have an unlimited pool of responsible illegal aliens willing to work for low wages to support their families. Who's more responsible, a 19 year old or a 36 year old father of 4? Of course companies don't want to hire teenagers.

    December 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  3. employed

    i think this is an example of what is not reported.
    most teenagers depend on whom for their transportation and more importantly the gas $ to use said transportation?
    what about their insurance?
    so 46% was employed.
    now only 25%?
    I think the difference is found in the fact that most teenagers depend on mom and dad to provide to/from work transportation. This is the main reason all the teenagers are NOT working imho...

    December 10, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • gina

      I feel ya, as an employer, These kids nowadays don't have to work. Maybe parents don't want the same life for their children like they had or something. They are there working just because they are biding time. There is not the same work ethic there anymore like when I started working at 17, just to make it. It's just getting harder and harder to find people that just understand why they should be to work on time....etc....

      December 12, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  4. The Beat It Generation

    I spent a summer when I was younger trying to get a job at the supermarket. They had a big sign outside that said they were hiring but the manager was never in. I finally chased him down, literally, and he told me they weren't actually hiring, and if they were, it wouldn't be just for the summer. They wanted people who could work just under 40 hours per week, be there indefinitely, and already had experience working in a supermarket. I asked him why they had a big sign out then, and he said they liked to keep an open job pool of potential employees.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  5. mwcreel

    They better all get job, they have to pay down that deficit their inheriting.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  6. Portland tony

    In the years gone by, a kid with little experience could walk in off the street to any small factory and walk out a full time employee in just about a day. And that didn't work out they could cross the street and get a job at Sears. Times have changed and you'd need two years experience to quality for either job.

    December 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  7. Erica

    Most of the teenagers I knew in Michigan struggled to find jobs. We got passed up for Mcdonalds jobs, and that was back before 03. It's only gotten worse, because the rest of the nation ran into the trouble Michigan had. EVERYONE needed work. Who do you give it to? The teen who has parents that can keep them housed, or the guy that got laid off and will lose his house?

    Obviously, the adult gets the job. Which leaves teenagers with no experience, and no way to 'practice' their work ethic in an actual workplace environment, which is FAR different from school.

    December 8, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  8. goodjobmmm

    I don't see any teenagers I know even looking for jobs. Either they are too busy or their parents give them everything so they don't want to work.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  9. msp

    But aren't most people in that age group, 16-24, students?! I have 2 children in that age group. No, I don't expect them to be working.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Gene

      I am 30 and had part-time jobs from 16-24 with maybe one year in there that I did not (due to college). Most people I know did this for independent spending money. You can be a student and work.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Tim

    I think that extra hour and a half should be used for extra credit for other students to bring there grade up.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  11. NC_Right

    Dont worry they wont have to "make that" chuckle. They can just go occupy somthing. Generation Y? More like generation whine.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Rkwosteo

      As a member of that generation I resent that comment. I work over 60 hours a week (which I don't resent because I understand that people have to WORK for a living), have a husband, job, car, home and a life. I don't expect life to be handed to me on a platter, and I don't throw a hissy fit when I don't get things that I want. I work for and pay for the things that I have, just as you do. Don't generalize a whole generation because some parents refused to raise their children right.

      December 9, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Jorge

      Does NC stand for North Carolina? Makes sense, I once lived in the sticks (many years ago) and I noticed that older folks in ruralia are always trash-talking about the upcoming generation. Some things never change, I guess.

      December 11, 2012 at 8:11 am |
      • NC_Right

        So now Charlotte is the "sticks"

        December 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  12. patrick

    If I had an extra hour and thirty minutes of school I would spend it on an internship so when I get out of high school I and get a job

    December 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |