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Utah Youth Jobs Rate Lowest Since 1979

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Annie E. Casey Foundation Report

The unemployment rate for Utah’s young adults remains at 11.1 percent. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has just released the policy report called “Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity.”

Terry Haven is the deputy director for Voices for Utah Children works with the Casey Foundation's Kids Count program to improve the lives of disadvantaged kids. She says it’s important to have internships, mentoring and youth volunteer programs in place so kids learn the value of working.

“They need that experience and the kids that aren’t getting it, we know from the research, that they tend to be more unemployed as adults. They tend to not reach their potential in terms of whatever career path they do choose. So it’s really crucial to make sure that we create for these kids a pathway to success,” Haven says.

Haven adds Utah kids are much better off than most in other states and there are signs of improvement. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics rank Utah 6th in the nation for employment rates among young working adults age 20 to 24 while the state ranks 11th for employment among 16 to 19 year old kids. The report says that in just eleven years, Utah has seen the jobs rate for this age group fall from 70 percent to 56 percent.

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