Business
12:38 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

Study: Washington has 2nd highest teen unemployment

In a new study, Washington teens are only slightly better off than teens in Georgia when it comes to unemployment rates, and that puts them second in the country for the worst employment opportunities.

The analysis of newly-released Census Bureau data by the fiscally conservative Washington, D.C.-based group Employment Policies Institute finds that 25 states have teen unemployment above 25 percent as of April. And, when data about discouraged job seekers is factored into the picture, 23 states have rates above 27 percent.

Washington’s rate plus the discouraged job seekers is 35.4 percent, the Institute reports.

Nationally, the teen unemployment rate stands at 24.2 percent for all teens, and 40.7 percent for black teens. Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the institue said,

"The economic downturn, combined with the consequences of increases in the minimum wage, has created a labor market that’s hostile for young, inexperienced job seekers."

Saltsman asserts wage and benefit mandates raise the cost to hire less-experienced employees because employers have been forced to cut back on customer service or move towards automation and thereby providing fewer employment opportunities for young people who typically fill those types of jobs.

The table below shows the state unemployment for 16-19 year-olds plus discouraged teen job seekers, April 2011. Note: The unemployment rate in the first column is calculated as the number of unemployed teens over the teen labor force. In the second column, the number of discouraged teen workers is added to the unemployed and the labor force.

  • ** - District of Columbia - 48.9% - 52.5%
  • 1 - Georgia - 36.8% - 38.4%
  • 2 - Washington - 34.5% - 35.4%
  • 3 - Nevada - 34.5% - 36.2%
  • 4 - California - 34.1% - 35.7%
  • 5 - North Carolina - 32.2% - 33.9%
  • 6 - Idaho - 31.8% - 33.1%
  • 7 - Mississippi - 30.6% - 33.7%
  • 8 - South Carolina - 30.0% - 30.4%
  • 9 - Kentucky - 29.9% - 31.4%
  • 10 - Florida - 28.9% - 31.0%
  • 11 - Missouri - 28.2% - 29.8%
  • 12 - Arizona - 28.0% - 29.3%
  • 13 - Michigan - 27.9% - 29.3%
  • 14 - West Virginia - 27.5% - 29.9%
  • 15 - Oregon - 27.2% - 27.7%
  • 16 - Arkansas - 26.6% - 27.6%
  • 17 - Rhode Island - 26.5% - 27.9%
  • 18 - Montana - 26.4% - 27.2%
  • 19 - New York - 26.0% - 27.7%
  • 20 - Alabama - 26.0% - 26.6%
  • 21 - Tennessee - 26.0% - 26.9%
  • 22 - Louisiana - 26.0% - 27.3%
  • 23 - Illinois - 25.8% - 27.2%
  • 24 - Colorado - 25.7% - 26.3%
  • 25 - Hawaii - 25.5% - 27.5%