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Teen Employment Down Sharply From Turn Of The Century

Houston’s teen employment fell to 24% in 2012, from 36% in 2000.


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The report tracked youth employment rates in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. It examined those in two age groups — ages 16-19 and ages 20-24.

In Houston, between 2000 and 2012, the employment rate for those in their early twenties fell less than a percentage point, to roughly 63%. Among teens, it dropped by twelve points, to 24%. Martha Ross is co-author of the report.

“What that suggests to me is that the nature of the Houston economy is that you are pulling in young workers from other places. The homegrown teenagers are having trouble getting a foothold in the labor market, but the young adults, who maybe have an associate’s degree, or a certificate, or a four-year degree, are getting jobs, and they’re coming from elsewhere.”

Ross says that a slower start in the labor market can lead to a “scarring effect,” with lower than normal earnings for many years to come.

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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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