New Data Unearth Inequalities in Youth Employment Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic

At height of the pandemic, the youth unemployment rate was more than double that of the general adult population. As country recovers, BIPOC youth face greater inequities than past recessions

Mathematica, with support from the Schultz Family Foundation, released its report, Youth Unemployment in the First Year of COVID-19: From the Breakout to the Vaccine Rollout, highlighting how disruptive COVID-19 has been on young people’s employment opportunities and the troubling differences in youth unemployment recovery rates based on race, ethnicity, and geography. Although the national unemployment rate dropping to 6.0 percent in March 2021 is an encouraging step to economic recovery, the report, based on a yearlong study throughout 2020, shows how the pandemic sparked extraordinarily high unemployment rates among young people ages 16 to 24 (more than double that of general adult population at the height of the pandemic) and further illustrated how the pandemic is disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth.

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