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Teen Unemployment In Major U.S. Cities Tops 50%

Posted on June 7, 2014

Old timers often say that the young people in the U.S. today don’t have the work ethic of their predecessors. This may be true, but is this perceived weakness a symptom of a greater problem? Has the opportunity for many young people to find employment diminished, and thus made it harder for them to learn the necessary work ethic on the job?

Before we try to answer that question, let’s examine some evidence from a new analysis by the Employment Policy Institute (EPI) that shows unemployment among teens without a high school diploma is greater than 50% in two very large cities. CNS News reports:

Using U.S. Census Bureau data from May 2013 to April 2014, the analysis reveals that in Riverside-San Bernardino area of Southern California, the unemployment rate for teenagers 16 to 19 years old who don’t have a high school diploma is 54.2 percent.

In the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore., metropolitan area, the unemployment rate from that population is 53.8 percent.

“These numbers are staggering,” Michael Saltsman, director of research at EPI told CNSNews.com. “Teens across the country this summer are missing out on valuable work experience as they continue to suffer through an extended period of high unemployment and difficult job prospects.”

The national average for this age group and skill level is 21.6%, but the high unemployment rate for the least skilled young people is not contained to the west coast. Rounding out the top ten on the list are Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa An, CA (39%), San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA (37.5%), San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (35.2%), Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE (33.2%), Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IN-IN-WI (33%), Pittsburgh, PA (32.9%), Sacramento-Arden-Arcade Roseville, CA (32.1%), and Baltimore-Towson, MD (31.4%)

The issue of teen unemployment is a complex one that has grown worse over the years. Often, people point to minimum wage laws as a driving force behind these disappointing employment numbers. Minimum wage is certainly partially to blame for the issue. Minimum wage laws reduce opportunities for employment by making low paying jobs for unskilled teenagers illegal. Companies are forced to lump those job functions in with a higher wage earner’s job duties, replace the duties with automation, or stop providing the services.

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28 thoughts on “Teen Unemployment In Major U.S. Cities Tops 50%

  1. Billions for the bankers, Israel and the military-industrial-security complex, but not a nickel on infrastructure or the people who pay the bills.

  2. michael says:

    This a very ominous omen for our country…..the future does not look bright! Add this to the outrageous debt and continual spending and the stupidity in Washington and the results are going to disastrous.

  3. Wolfman says:

    Obamas Change

  4. CrustyOldGeezer says:

    FACT: prior to the 'liberal created' "immigration" problem, fast food and other entry level jobs were the sole domain of teenagers and other young people for summer and after school jobs.

    Those jobs are now held by illegals "doing what Americans refuse to do".

    But if Americans 'refused to do those jobs', the jobs would have never existed because of lack of a workforce to fil the need.

    Americans never 'refused' to do carpentry or any other construction jobs.

    There is not one part of the nations job markets that "AMERICANS REFUSED TO DO", including agriculture.

    Did you ever meet a farmer that refused to plant, water, weed and harvest his crops because it was beneath him?

  5. paulrph1 says:

    And the solution is? That is correct the only logical answer, if you are a Democrat, is the Federal Government. Funny thing is they are the ones creating the problems so no one can get a job and they think we are stupid enough to believe in them. But if you are young naive you are bound to believe. Be careful not to think that what is supposed to be your salvation will end up being your enslavement.

  6. michael says:

    I guess I'm a Geezer at 62…..I was a Carpenter in Calif and made a great living from 1972 to about 1982….then everything changed…..illegals started flooding the trade and hourly wages and piece work prices (which I loved to do because you got paid for how fast and hard you worked) collapsed….I made at least $25 – $35/hour piece working and at least $15 -$20 working by the hour….my gosh today as a Carpenter you'd be lucky to get $10…and a work truck costs $25K….my new Chevy in 1974 was $3200!!! Can you say FED!!!! Keep printing Boys….you will finally kill the Golden Goose…the middle class!

  7. Live Free says:

    Part of the problem is perception. When you have people in positions of authority (i.e. Pelosi) who say that childhood does not end until 26 years of age, the problems this causes with statistics ripples throughout society. This affects statistics for unemployment, gun crime, healthcare insurance (duh) and even education (wicked duh).

    Oh yeah, voting too. It would be interesting to see how many "children" voted to re-elect these people who promise them jobs (vs. those who promise them funding to extend the pursuit of their favorite childhood hobby).

  8. michael says:

    The bail out stuff turns my stomach….imagine if all that money had been spent on our infrastructure instead….millions of jobs and wonderful new roads, bridges & etc. But no we had to save the banker's jobs or should I say save the politician's piggy bank! The whole system is so corrupt I really see no way out except a total revolution.

  9. "I plan to fundamentally change this country." Well he is succeeding. These last two elections were controlled by the least informed. Presidential elections are usually decided by the last five percent of the voters to come to a decision. These are always the least informed and the most unequipped to make a sound judgement. We now suffer their foolishness. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  10. Guest 1 says:

    This is part of the reason why so many "kids" stay at home with their parents.

    Guess it pays to learn Spanish and a good work ethic, write yourself a blog and start a business if you are a kid.

  11. CharlieFromMass says:

    You think it's bad now, wait and see what'll happen is Seattle's plan for economic suicide is followed by other big cities around the country, and possibly a state or two.

    The problem is that these big city dolts all too often screw up their neighboring cities and towns with their foolishness, and the ripple effect can be staggering.

  12. George Fuller says:

    Their jobs are now occupied by illegal aliens….

  13. Most people still do not fully grasp what actually happened and is still happening in this country regarding the bailouts and cronyism. It is all at my site and much more for all to see and all for free. The whole banana ! and numerous Rabbit Holes to check out.


    There are between 40-60 MILLION "ILLEGAL ALIENS" (they are in NO way "immigrants" as the latter word means ONLY those who come legally – illegals spit on our laws and sneak over -the others overstay their visas illegally) in the U.S. (not the 12 Million they have been spouting for years!). Most are unskilled labor and take the unskilled jobs that our teens look for. A lot of these jobs have been stolen by illegals!

  15. libslie says:


  16. Profanity undermines any point you were trying to make. It's always the first fallback position of anyone who can't think straight.

    Israel is not a friend to the US: there are laws that guarantee Israel a steady supply of oil even if it means shortages for Americans. Any war Israel starts in the Mideast, it expects America to finish and American kids to die in. Israel has been stabbing America in the back for 60 years.

    "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." ~ the late Ariel Sharon, on Oct. 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

  17. In other news: child unemployment practically 100%.

  18. The goose was slaughtered a while back and served as the main course at one of Obama's fancy dinner parties. And that is about what we mean to him. We are but grist for his royal mill. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  19. Phillip the Bruce says:

    "Illegal Aliens"? Tell me where in the Constitution is the federal Gunverment authorized to determine the conditions of citizenship? Apart, that is, from the 14th Amendment, which was ratified under duress by the territories that unsuccessfully attempted to secede from the 'voluntary' Union, when they requested readmission? This is clearly an area that should fall under the 10th Amendment.

  20. kane elysee says:

    That’s true. Imagine if they spread that $ out over the citizenry; just to keep it simple. The amount becomes staggering when put in different lights.

  21. 1baronrichsnot1 says:

    Not just teens, right up to age 24, per polls. This unemployment rate is stuck. 6.3% is a lie. Underemployed and unemployed is nearly 40 million, that's 12.5%. There has been another 4.5 million took early retirement and SS. The gov't has hired over a million. We are looking at a catastrophe! The new welfare is disability, pays more than SS. Compliant gov't is complicit in overloading the system in several ways. Immigration, Healthcare, food, energy,gov't and consumer payments are increasing every day. Cloward and pivens at work, by this administration.

  22. these kids need to wake up and see what ovmit and the demacraps have done th this country If they dont they will be the ones to suffer the most Ovmit could care less about them but yet they will listen to him and vote for him and the demacraps this is what they get for lisening to the lib teachers That are brain washing them

  23. At this point I wonder about all the blacks that voted for Nobama and expected him to solve their problems and all they got is a cell phone with 250 minutes per month…._How about some of the jobs he promised???? Oh, that's right

  24. Don't forget the jihadists that Nobama gives billions to…..

  25. High youth unemployment is always good news for left-wingers. It means that the younger, less mature portion of the electorate will listen to their extremist proposals. It also makes it easier to get up a gang of rioters to intimidate conservatives, and to demonstrate that "the majority of the people" want whatever it is that the Letwinger are selling.

  26. If they increse the minomum wage, they can increase these numbers from 50% to maybe 100% for complete success for the Adminstration plan!

  27. The problem is that these big city dolts all too often screw up their neighboring cities and towns with their foolishness, and the ripple effect can be staggering.australian immigration company

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