Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless and Out Of School Teens and Young Adults In Chicago, Illinois and the U.S.

by Jackson C. Morsey; Matthew D. Wilson; Teresa L. Córdova

Jan 1, 2016

This report contains compilations and calculations of various employment data for males and females 16 to 24 years old by race/ethnicity from 2005 to 2014, comparing Chicago, Illinois, the U.S. and in some instances, adding Los Angeles and New York. Besides an array of figures and tables, the report contains GIS generated maps that illustrate the relationship between employment data and population distribution by race/ethnicity. A significant contribution of this report is its demonstration that low rates of employment are spatially concentrated in neighborhoods that are also racially segregated. This report clearly highlights that youth employment rates are tied to conditions in neighborhoods and cannot be seen as distinct from what is happening in the neighborhoods themselves. The devastation of unemployment in turn, wreaks havoc on the neighborhood.

  • In 2014, for 16 to 19 year olds in Chicago, 12.4 percent of Blacks, 15.0 percent of Hispanic or Latinos, and 24.4 percent of Whites (non-Hispanic or Latinos) were employed. This compared to the national figure of 28.8 percent suggests that youth in Chicago are less likely to be employed.
  • In Illinois in 2014, 84 percent of Black 16 to 19 year olds and 72 percent of Hispanic or Latino 16 to 19 year olds were jobless. Employment rates decreased by 13 percent for Blacks and 20 percent for Hispanic or Latinos from 2005 to 2014.
  • In the U.S. in 2014, 79 percent of Black 16 to 19 year olds and 74 percent of Hispanic or Latino 16 to 19 year olds were jobless. Employment rates decreased 14 percent for Blacks and 21 percent for Hispanic or Latinos from 2005 to 2014.
  • 14.3 percent of Black 16 to 19 year olds who were out of school and out of work in Chicago was nearly 35 percent higher than in the U.S., nearly 59 percent higher than New York City, and over 64 percent higher than Los Angeles.
  • In Chicago, the jobless and out of school rate for Black males 20 to 24 year olds is more than 4 times higher than for White (non-Hispanic or Latino) 20 to 24 year olds and more than twice as high as Hispanic or Latinos in Chicago.