UIC Study Finds Youth Unemployment Spiked During Pandemic | Black Voi...

Chicago’s newly minted mayor is looking for options to address youth unemployment. Mayor Brandon Johnson has instructed the city’s budget office to find ways to fund youth unemployment and enrichment programs — and according to a new study by UIC’s Great Cities Institute, those jobs are critically needed. The study showed the jobless rate rose from 44% in 2019 to 57% in 2021 for Black people ages 20 to 24. And that’s on top of the 87% of Black residents 16 to 19 years old who were unemployed in 2021 — 20% higher than the national average.

The study also drew connections between the city’s crime rates and low youth unemployment rates.

“There’s been a lot of evaluations of summer youth employment programs and very robust research designs that have tried to get towards causation,” said Matthew Wilson, associate director for economic and workforce development at UIC’s Great Cities Institute. “And they’ve found that when program participants are working and…

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