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New York youth unemployment still high

Nov 27, 2023 12:11 pm

Molly Burke reports in the Times Union that fewer young adults and teenagers in New York have jobs than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the state Department of Labor shows. Last year, New York’s youth unemployment rate was second in the nation, at 11.4 percent. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of unemployment among that age group was more than 17 percent. The year before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was 10.3 percent. In the Capital Region last year's youth unemployment rate was 10.9 percent and 11.4 percent in the Hudson Valley. Rusty Weaver, director of research at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations Buffalo Co-Lab, said, “There are a number of reasons for that, but one of them is probably that, across the nation, the number one industry for young adults is leisure and hospitality.... In New York state, that's a sector that really hasn't experienced the same trajectory of recovery as a lot of other industries.” Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said many food service businesses need help, saying, “It's a very good job to enter the market and learn all those soft skills for employment — how to show up on time, how to handle customer service, greet people, put a smile on your face, put down your phone, those types of soft skills — that we have to learn as we first enter the job market.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.