Nearly 6 Million Young Americans Do Nothing

Nearly 6 million young people doing nothing

Nearly 6 million young Americans age 16 to 24 do absolutely nothing. They are not in school and they do not have any sort of job, says a study that came out on Monday.

That’s almost 15 percent of those in the specified age range, states The Opportunity Nation coalition, which also researched the report.

Various studies show that young adults who are basically idle at this age are missing out on one of the best times in their lives to build expertise in things they are going to need later in their lives or have the information they learned in college. Without those skills, they are much less likely to get better paying jobs later on and are more likely to be a financial drain on where they live.

We cannot write this group of young people off. We need to give them a chance, explained Mark Edwards, who is the executive director of a group of businesses, advocacy groups, policy experts and nonprofit organizations who all work together to help people raise the level of their economic surroundings . But he knows that changing the dynamics of these young Americans is not going to be easy.

The coalition has found 49 states have noticed a surge in the amount of families living in poverty. 45 states now have household average incomes that have fallen in the past year. The report highlights the trials young adults now have to face and forecasts challenges they are likely to encounter as they age.

Where a young person lives is often closely related to his or her success. The Opportunity Nation study traced 16 factors, such as college graduation rates, Internet access, public safety, and income inequality and recognized states that were doing well for its young people.


At the top of the list of states were North Dakota, Minnesota, and Vermont. While at the bottom were New Mexico, Mississippi and Nevada.

If one looks at some of the biggest cities in the U.S., such as Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Riverside, CA. All of these have over 100,000 young people that are not working and are not in school, the Opportunity Nation study discovered.

This is why a program known as Year Up takes a year and works with high school graduates in order to help train them in career services such as computer programming or repair. These are skills the young people can use when the program is over. Year Up also has life training so the graduates can learn abilities such as how to manage their personal time. Over 4,500 young adults from inner-city areas have finished the program and nearly 85 percent of them have gone on to find work.

However, it is far tougher for other young adults. In states like West Virginia, between 1 in 5 young people are doing nothing, at a rate higher than their adult neighbors. Mississippi has an unemployment rate of about 8 percent. Like the majority of states, both of these have noticed unemployment go down since 2011, but researchers fear this is because fewer residents are now looking for work and more have just given up searching for one.

This is not like the challenges have come out of nowhere. Good childhood programs aid students from underprivileged families and help them to overcome society’s difficulties. High school graduations often come after young adults have went through good schools. These are other influences that Opportunity Nation scrutinized.

Iowa has started putting a plan together to help some of its youth. Beginning next summer, Des Moines students are going to be placed in paying jobs. This is part of an entire city partnership to aid its various communities. This should help the older adults also because it is believed this will help crime rates to fall.

If nearly 6 million young Americans are doing nothing then that cannot be good. What they are doing is probably not positive.

Written by: Kimberly Ruble

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