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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:04pm
Wed Mar 26

Report: Youth Unemployment High In Illinois, Chicago & Black Teens Hit The Hardest

Illinois teens are having a hard time attaining work, with the Prairie State being among the top ten states in the nation with the highest teen jobless rates. In 2012, the youth employment rate in Illinois was only 27 percent, a decrease of 10 percentage points from 2006, according to a recent report by the Chicago-based Alternative Schools Network.

The teen employment rate at the national level was also 27 percent in 2012. That figure is also down from 36 percent in 2006 and reflects the lowest employment rate in the nation's post-World War II history, according to the report, which is part of an ongoing series focused on local and national teen employment trends.

As previously noted, Illinois was one of10 states with the highest teen unemployment rate in 2012. And out of all Illinois teens, those in Chicago fared the worst with an employment rate of just 19 percent.

Across all geographic areas, black teens had the lowest employment rates compared to all other racial and ethnic groups, the report showed. In Illinois, only 16 out 100 black teens were employed in 2012, while just 11 out of 100 black teens in Chicago had jobs during that year.

“Every year, thousands of youth apply for jobs and every year there simply are not enough," Alternative Schools Network Executive Director Jack Wuest said in a statement. "The exclusion of teens from the job market is likely to continue and brings with it bleak economic prospects, limited earnings potential and significant taxpayer burden for the magnitude of jobless youth. Job creation for teens and young adults for 2014 has to be an immediate priority.” Read more »