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The Source: The Breakdown Employing Youth

Brookings Institution

The last decade was a disaster in terms of American employment. The people that have suffered the most though are a group of people not often considered -- the nation's youth. Basic job skills, employment socialization and other skills are all having to be learned later in life because the ability for a young adult to get a job has fallen off a cliff.

According to Andrew Sum at Northeastern University, the last few years have brought new historic lows in youth unemployment in the post-World War II period. It is especially present in African Americans, Hispanics, and low-income communities. 

The non-college path to independence has eroded to a point of near nonexistence, with only 43 percent of high-school graduates being able to find work -- down from 72 percent in 1989. 

Thankfully, San Antonio has done better than average with an overall age group unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, ranking 19th in the largest 100 metros, according to a new study from Brookings Institution. Among our youth, however, we still have a long way to go ranking in the lowest 30 percent.

Why are these ages critical for employment? How has San Antonio actually improved over the past 10 years?


  • Martha Ross, fellow with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program

*This is the second segment in the March 20 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM -- audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org