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March 31, 2015

Report: Less education equals higher unemployment for Philly youth

More than 34 percent of the city's 240,000 young adults are not enrolled in school, and statistics show that they are significantly less likely to enter the labor force than youth with more educationwith according to a new report out Tuesday.

Nearly half of those 93,000 young adults not were not enrolled or working. The unemployment rate for this group, ages 16-24, was 30.6 percent, or 17 points higher than adults age 25-64.  More than 27 percent of youth not enrolled nor working did not have a high school diploma; 50.9 percent of them had a high school diploma only. 

Other groups with higher unemployment rates include those with limited work histories and disabilities. 

The “Philadelphians with Barriers to Employment” report by Philadelphia Works, the city’s lead workforce development organization, identifies populations in the city that face serious challenges to finding employment in the city. 
“This report builds upon our knowledge of the populations that Philadelphia Works identified in our strategic plan as the 'hardest-to-serve' priority,” said Mark Edwards, president and CEO of Philadelphia Works, in a statement. “In addition to helping guide our overall strategy, this report also aligns with federally stipulated mandates in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to identify and provide services to those individuals with barriers to employment. Now that we have identified and quantified the major barriers our citizens face, we can better target our resources to address the challenging work of developing specific policies to address unemployment amongst these populations.”
Other highlights of the report include:
• Hardest-to-serve adult populations in Philadelphia, including those with limited work histories, low literacy rates, disabilities, immigrants and those with limited English proficiency, and returning citizens have an unemployment rate two times that of the average adult population
• In Philadelphia, 31 percent of disabled individuals participate in the labor force, compared with 71 percent of adults. Twenty-eight percent of them were unemployed, 14.5 percentage points higher than all adults.
• 12,000 individuals in Philadelphia have no English proficiency. The unemployment rate for this population is 24.3 percent
• 37 percent of Philadelphians with limited work history are unemployed, compared to 13.5 percent of all adults.
• In Philadelphia, 132,000 adults 25-64 have no high school diploma. This group experiences an unemployment rate of 24.3 percent.
• Returning citizens make 11 percent less than those with the same education level and no incarceration history
The report draws from Philadelphia Works analysis of the 2010-2012 American Community Survey PUMS micro data and American Fact Finder-tables S2301 and S1810. Numbers and percentages are estimates only and have margins of error.