Shameful: Black Teen Unemployment Rate at 41%

unemployment shirt

Friday’s jobs report demonstrated again that the U.S. economy is stuck in a sluggish purgatory. Worse still were the unemployment numbers for black teens, which came in at a mind blowing 41.6 percent.   In July of last year,  black teen unemployment was considerably lower, coming in at 36 percent. In March, the teen unemployment rate was 33 percent.

This means that the opportunity you had as a teen, to find work to help pay for college or learn new skills, isn’t available to a large swath of black teens. Nearly half of teens who want to work can’t find a job.

One of the reasons teens are having a hard time finding work probably has a lot to do with the “graying” of the fast food industry. Over a third of fast food workers have at least some college and, as NBC reported in April, the average fast food worker is getting older.


From NBC article, In Tough Economy, Fast Food Workers Grow Old:

Due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the Hollywood image of the care-free, freckle-faced, teenage hamburger flipper is no longer the norm. Only 16 percent of fast food industry jobs now go to teens, down from 25 percent a decade ago.

And many of the older workers are educated. More than 42 percent of restaurant and fast-food employees over the age of 25 have at least some college education, including 753,000 with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a testament to their resiliency, these teens haven’t left the job market. They’re still looking for work.

6 comments
James Alexander
James Alexander

When are we going to stop making excuses and start taking responsibility?  Black teens are shutting themselves out of the job market and it's mainly due to their appearance and their lack of basic communication skills.  The appearance of Black teens is deplorable and frankly I don't blame employers who won't hire them.  Sagging pants, tattoos, piercings and multi-color hair along with the fact that they can't fill out a job application properly is what's keeping them unemployed.  Nobody wants to go into a restaurant and see employees with their draws showing, rings in their nose and coming out their head and tongue.  There are plenty of jobs for Black teens that look and act like they have some sense and proper home training.

soul60
soul60

They are being targeted  and conditioned to be fed into this updated slave private prison plantation racket they got going on right in the faces of black people.

Yvette Carnell
Yvette Carnell moderator

@James Alexander I certainly don't know every black teen in the America, but of the ones I know, I don't know any who show up to interviews with saggy pants. Just as I don't believe the Goth white kids show up to job interviews with black fingernails, hammer boots, and trench coats. The truth of the matter is that many of the jobs once available to these teens are now being worked by adults.

You asked, "when are we going to stop making excuses" and I'm asking you, when are you going to look at the actual job numbers and face the fact that the economy is not recovering? These jobs numbers aren't about saggy pants.

James Alexander
James Alexander

@Yvette Carnell, I know that you don’t know every Black teen in America, and you probably live in an area where there aren’t many Black teens at all which means you’re commenting about something you don’t know anything about (as usual).“The truth of the matter is that many of the jobs once available to these teens are now being worked by adults”.Says who and by what authority?You can’t believe or repeat everything you read or hear.The thing that I find most disturbing about the “Your Black World” network is that you don’t have the slightest clue as to what’s really going on in the African-American Community.Everything you write is based on what somebody else said or wrote and it’s usually written or said by white people who know even less than you do.I stand by what I said because unlike you, I SEE IT EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

James Alexander
James Alexander

@Yvette Carnell  "Your assumptions far exceed your knowledge and/or intellect".  I'll challenge you to a debate on what I know and my intellect versus yours any day and time. I assure you I am not the one embarrassing myself.  For the record, had I known that you had written this piece we wouldn't be having this exchange because I avoid everything you write because it has no substance and lack originality..  That's not a personal attack, it's a fact.  The biggest problem I find with all of you who want to write about what's happening in the Black Community is that you like to throw out statistics that really don't mean jack in the real scheme of things.  Try using a little common-sense sometime; if that's possible. 

Yvette Carnell
Yvette Carnell moderator

@James AlexanderYour assumptions far exceed your knowledge and/or intellect. I'm in a majority black neighborhood, so that first assumption goes out the window. I'm a black woman who attended an HBCU and lives in around mostly black people. So please, don't embarrass yourself anymore than you already have.

The only reason the jobs number is declining slightly is because job seekers are abandoning the labor force. There aren't many jobs out there, and what jobs are available are being filled by more qualified applicants.

I know you're trying to essentialize black teens as being incompatible with the job market, but the facts don't support your argument. There's no reason to take personal jabs at me for not being black enough, or not knowing enough black people, just because you aren't capable of taking the time to read and understand BLS statistics.

Growth in payrolls during July was less than the consensus estimate of 175,000 and data for both May and June were revised downward by a total of 26,000. Last month’s job gains came in well below the average increase of 198,000 in payrolls during the first six months of the year, so..., this was clearly not a good report.

This is just the truth and saying black teens wear saggy pants won't fix it. Attacking me won't fix it either. Delve into the numbers before you attack my character or my blackness. All of that other silliness is uncalled for.



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