Employment prospects for young people have gotten much worse since 2000, but those prospects vary from place to place.
The Brookings Institution just released a comprehensive report on the state of youth employment and unemployment, and things are grim. They found that employment among teenagers and young adults has plummeted over the last decade.
However, in some places, teenagers are more likely to be working than others. The map below, based on data from the report, shows the ten cities with the highest rates of youth employment in 2011 in green, and the ten cities with the lowest rates in red:
Here are the teen employment rates for these cities:
Even in the cities with the highest teen employment, fewer than fifty per cent for 16-19 year olds are working.
The Brookings Institution found a number of factors that are associated with different levels of teen employment in different cities: “Larger shares of college students, high school dropouts, and teens from low-income families among the teen population were significantly associated with reduced employment rates.”
That is, it appears that lower teen employment levels could depend both on more teenagers going to college, which is likely a good thing in the long run, but also on negative factors like drop out rates and poverty.