Raising the Future of Work: Youth Employment

Between April and July youth employment rises throughout the United States.  These changes most notably due to summer break and academic schedules which allow for more youth to become a part of the employed population.  While youth employment numbers have fluctuated very little in recent times, however, according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2017, female youth employment ratios increased.  However at the same time youth unemployment statistics increased to 611,000 in marked contrast from the previous period at 458,000.

While there are increases in youth employment, the unemployment statistics for youth between the ages of 16-24 are disturbing.  Even further is the fact that most of the employment occurs in the hospitality/leisure and food service industries.  The greatest question we must ask, is are we preparing our youth to take leadership positions in the future?  While many celebrities and some corporate executives boast of having worked in food service or leisure, we must ask if this equation still works the economy of the future.

Perhaps we should be thinking of different ways of supporting our youth and finding ways to plug them into opportunities.  Creating expectation in youth at young ages has proven to be fundamental in educational advancement, it is quite possible the same may be true for employment.

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