Youth Employment is Low, PA Fares Better than Most

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation pegs the nation’s teen employment rate at 26%.  Director of Economic Development & Integration Initiatives Patrice Cromwell tells Radio PA we haven’t seen numbers like this since the early 1950s.  “Just in the last ten years, it’s dropped by close to 50%,” she explains. “Back in 2000, one out of two teens was able to get a job; today that’s only one out of four.” 

She says youth employment is important because the data show that early work experience pays off later in life, so work experience is critical whether a young person is in or out of school.

The new KIDS COUNT report shows teen employment rates varying among states, from a low of 18% in California to a high of 46% in North Dakota.  Pennsylvania is among the top states with a teen (16-19-years old) employment rate of 39%. 

When the report looks young adults (20-24-years-old) Pennsylvania shows 62% employment, one percentage point higher than the national average.