The Summer Youth Employment Program
The research is clear – employment in teen years is the single best predicter or life long earnings. However, youth employment is at the lowest level since World War II. The long term impacts of joblessness on youth – persistently lower wages and lifelong earnings, and negative social, psychological and behavioral impacts – were all clearly outlined more than a year ago in an article by Don Peck in The Atlantic. CLICK HERE TO READ IT…
This is why OWP worked with the Oregon Legislature to put the Oregon Youth Employment Program into law. Legislators approved an act to create the program and a fund resource the program. However, they did not put resources into the fund during the last legislative session.
The Oregon Youth Employment Program is based on a highly successful pilot conducted by OWP members in 2009 using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Resources. A report on the program showed a return on investment of $1.46 for every dollar spent. the report, success stories, videos and fact sheets are available by clicking here.
A number of states have found creative ways to fund ongoing youth employment programs. Learn More…
We urge Oregon to do the same.
FACT: “people who were unemployed for long periods in their teens or early 20s are far more likely to develop a habit of heavy drinking (five or more drinks in one sitting) by the time they approach middle age. They are also more likely to develop depressive symptoms. Prior drinking behavior and psychological history do not explain these problems—they result from unemployment itself.” Don Peck, Atlantic Magazine
FACT:“While some teens clearly have no serious interest in working, our analyses of available data on unemployed and underemployed teens and those who wanted jobs but gave up looking for work revealed a very large number of teens who were unutilized or underutilized but desired work. During the summer of 2009 (June-August), we estimated nearly 3.3 million teens who were members of the underutilized labor pool” Sum, Khatiwada, Palma, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
FACT: A study of 24 Oregon Counties showed that each dollar Oregon spent in wages for youth last summer resulted in an economic impact of $1.46, and that Oregon’s youth tended to spend their dollars locally, supporting themselves and their families, paying off debt and saving for the future. Because these dollars tended to result in local purchases, the community level impact cannot be under estimated. “By providing wages to low income youth, the program increased demand for the state’s retailers, restaurants, gasoline stations, and generated other economic activity.” Mallory Ray, Summer Youth Employment Program Impacts Oregon Counties
Fact: Oregon’s youth unemployment situation reflects that of the rest of the nation. “While these data do not capture the entire depth of the recession’s impact on youth, the trends here are clear. During those four quarters [the 1st quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009], overall private-sector payroll jobs for all ages declined by 6.3 percent. Hardest hit, and by a large margin, were teen workers who saw their job numbers fall by 22 percent in just four quarters. Those in the next oldest age group, 19 to 21 years experienced the second largest decline, down almost 12 percent.” Oregon Employment Department