Study: Many Young Latinos are Out of School and Unemployed

A new study finds that American teens are finding it increasingly difficult to find work—creating a generation of disconnected youth. The Annie E. Casey Foundation estimates that almost 6.5 million teens are out of work and are not attending school.

The troubling numbers are even more pronounced among Latino and black teens ages 16 to 19–about 16 percent of whom are not working or in school. About 11 percent of white youth are in the same position. Among youth ages 20 to 24, about 23 percent of Latino young people are not in school or working–compared with 17 percent of white young people in the same age range.

The report provides state-by-state data breakdowns, which is useful because the percentages vary quite a bit depending on where you live in the country.

In the report “Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity,” the foundation suggests that a number of steps can be taken to combat the growing crisis. They include creating a national youth employment strategy, aligning resources among public and private funders, and encouraging employers to sponsor “earn and learn programs.” The organization wants to encourage collaboration between government, philanthropy and communities to make a change.

An article in The Los Angeles Times highlights one program that is working to reverse the numbers. Backed by $13 million in federal funding, the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District have partnered to offer education and job training at 13 youth centers throughout the city.

Are there any efforts under way in your community to combat this problem?

Related Links:

– “For school dropouts, a way to drop back in.” The Los Angeles Times. 

– “Nevada teens struggle to find jobs as national youth employment rate hits low point.” Las Vegas Review-Journal.

– “Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Youth Adult Connections to Opportunity.” The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Kids Count Report Finds 32 Percent of Hispanic Children Live in Poverty

The annual Kids Count report by The Anne E. Casey Foundation finds that Latino children are significantly more likely than white children to live in poverty.

Hispanic children are also the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to attend preschool, are more likely than white or black children to lack health insurance and are the most likely of any group to be in a family where the household head lacks a high school diploma.

The report evaluates child well-being in every state and found that the two states with the largest population of Latino children rank near the bottom of the list of states. Texas is ranked 44th, and California, 41st.

The foundation says declines in child well-being can have dire consequences  for the United States’ future. In 2010,  32 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared with 13 percent of white children, 38 percent of black children and 14 percent of Asian children. That year, a family of two adults and two children fell into the “poverty” category if their annual income was below $22,113–the federal definition varies based on family size.

“Millions of children are growing up with risk factors that predict that they will not succeed in the world they will inherit,” the report says. “And, if they don’t succeed, this country will become increasingly less able to compete and thrive in the global economy, thereby affecting the standard of living and the strength of our nation for all of us.”

Here are some other key data from the report on Latino children:

  • Between 2008 and 2010, about 63 percent of Hispanic children did not attend preschool. By comparison, about half of black and white children didn’t attend preschool.
  • In 2010, about 14 percent of Hispanic children lacked health insurance, compared with about 6 percent of white children and 7 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, about 37 percent of Latino children lived in families where the household head lacked a high school diploma, compared with 7 percent of white children and 15 percent of black children.
  • Between 2006-10, about 19 percent of Latino children lived in high-poverty areas, compared with 3 percent of white children and 27 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, about 41 percent of Hispanic children were living in single-parent households, compared with 24 percent of white children and 66 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, About 40 percent of Hispanic children’s parents lacked secure employment, compared with 25 percent of white children and 49 percent of black children.
  • In 2009, there were 70 teen births per 1,000 female Hispanic teens compared with 25 among white teens and 59 among black teens.
  • In 2011, about 82 percent of Hispanic children were not proficient in reading and 80 percent of eighth-graders were not proficient in math.
  • One bright spot was that  in 2009, Hispanic children were the least likely to be low-birth weight and were also below the national average. About 6.9 percent of babies were low birth-weight, compared with about 13.3 percent of black babies.

You can localize this story to your state, and community. Where is poverty growing, and how are school districts dealing with the increase and their changing student populations?

Related Links:

– “2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book: National and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being.” The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

– KIDS COUNT data by state. 

– “Child poverty on the rise.”  The Huffington Post.

– “Annual Study Finds Child Education, Health Improving.” Education Week.