Education, Employment and Poverty

As more youth enter the workforce, it is evident that unemployment rates will continue to rise during the current recession. Unfortunately, high youth unemployment is alarming because prolonged periods of unemployment early in a young person’s life reduce future earnings, productivity and employment opportunity, and can lead to poverty and extreme poverty. Additionally, unemployment can lead to deterioration of skills that makes securing future employment far more difficult, independent lifestyles hard to maintain, and the possibility of encountering poverty at some level a reality. 

Research has found that for every percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, new workforce entrants face a 6 to 7 percent wage loss—an effect that persists for decades. 

The U.S. Census Bureau surveys show that the unemployment rate for every age group increased from 2007 to 2009, with the greatest increase within the age groups of youth from 16 to 19 years old where the rate almost doubled with a 73 percent increase. 

According to the Action for Children North Carolina report, young workers ages 16-24 have the hardest time finding work in the current economy. In 2009, 20.5 percent of youth ages 16 to 24 were unemployed, up 10 percentage points from the start of the recession. 

Partner with community-based organizations to advance programs that positively impact your community’s workforce with training, apprenticeships and education. To learn more about how you can help and TAKE ACTION to ERADICATE POVERTY, visit


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