The youngest generation of American workers could become an economic powerhouse

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The United States would earn $ 55 billion more in taxes if a particular generation worked.

If the 4.6 million Gen Z – those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s – who do not work or attend school join the workforce, they will each generate 11,900 $ per year in federal tax revenues, according to a study published Tuesday by Measure of America, a nonprofit initiative of the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn, NY The US economy would see more taxes and spend less on public benefits, according to the report.


By the age of 30, young adults who worked or attended school in their younger years have a head start over their non-working or non-working counterparts. studies.

By the time they are in their 30s, young adults who worked or were in school during their early years are stepping out ahead of their counterparts without work or education, according to the study. The first group earns $ 31,000 more per year, is 45% more likely to own a home, 42% more likely to have a job, and 52% more likely to be in good or excellent health, Measure finds of America.

Those who don’t work or go to school – referred to as “disconnected youth” in this report – don’t fare as well. And even those who return to school to earn their General Education Development (GED) degree don’t tend to do as well as those who stayed in school or started working during those critical years. adolescence, said Rebecca Gluskin, chief statistician and assistant. director of Measure of America.

Being a young disconnected person is not uncommon. More than 12% of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are either out of work or out of school, according to MDRC, a nonprofit economic research organization based in New York and Oakland, Calif. And formerly known as Manpower. Demonstration Research Corporation. “People think disconnected youth are a cost to society, but a better way to view them is as an untapped resource,” said Kristen Lewis, director of Measure of America. “These are young people who, in the long term, can pay taxes and buy houses.”

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The employment rate for teens between 16 and 19 fell to 29% in 2014, from 35% in 2008, according to Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington, DC think tank. need to work to support themselves or their families, the decline raises concerns in some settings that adolescents are missing out on opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience and contacts that will improve their employment prospects later in life ”, the The Brookings report says.

Some teens just don’t want to work – at least not in the traditional jobs found in a desk. A fifth of teens surveyed by Chicago-based market research firm C + R want to be athletes, performers, or performers. Health care came in second. Summer jobs, which teens typically flock to between school years, didn’t get easy last year, but young adults aren’t looking either. The adolescent participation rate was 35% in July, compared to 53% for the same age group in 2000.


Women are more likely to be disconnected than men, in part because women are more likely to drop out of school or work to care for children or the household.

Others do not have the opportunity to work. Women are more likely to be disconnected than men, in part because women are more likely to drop out of school or work to care for children or the household. White youth are also almost half as likely to be disconnected than black youth, and the former see this rate decline over time. A majority (65%) of disconnected youth grow up in poverty, and young women seen as disconnected are four times more likely to have a child than their non-disconnected counterparts, Lewis said.

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Disconnected youth typically live in areas with above-average unemployment rates, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and stop attending school after high school, limiting their prospects for career advancement, according to Brooking.

If these young people worked, some cities would see greater gains than others. The Los Angeles metro area could collect more than $ 610 million a year in taxes generated by disconnected youth, and Atlanta could see an additional $ 155 million, according to the latest analysis. Washington, DC could potentially win over $ 270 million.

Some cities have launched initiatives to encourage these young adults to work. New York City implemented the Young Adult Internship Program, now called “Intern & Win, ”For people aged 16 to 24 who are not enrolled in school, who do not have a job and who do not have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Between July 2013 and March 2014, nearly 2,700 young adults were assigned to the program and 86% completed it during this period, according to a 2017 MDRC analysis.

Teens in New York City were also more likely than others to be working within a year of their assignment compared to a control group who did not receive these benefits and earned higher wages than the control group. Eventually, the employment rate of the participant group and the control group converged, but former interns continued to earn higher incomes than their counterparts, suggesting that they had higher paying jobs, the analysis found.

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