Teen Unemployment Could Put Disadvantage On Future Job

The unemployment rate for 16-to-19 year olds climbed to 25% in March, up more than a percentage point from February. The situation for Texas' teens may be even worse.


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The state-by-state breakdown for teen unemployment is running a month behind the available national numbers. The results for Texas show teen unemployment exceeding 25% in February, when the U.S. rate was still just under 24%.

Michael Saltsman is a research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute in Washington, D.C. He says teen unemployment is a key metric for the entry-level job market.

“And we haven’t seen the sort of improvement there that we’ve seen in the overall labor market. To give you a 10,000 foot view, teen unemployment now has been over 20% for 41 months. So, for someone that started in high school a couple of years ago, they’ve never known anything other than a labor market where it’s difficult to impossible for them to find a job.”

Saltsman says missing out on the skills teens pick up on a first job can put them at a disadvantage in the workforce for years – hurting both their prospects for employment and their earning power.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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