About 60 percent of the 20 to 24 year olds in Indiana are employed, according to a study recently released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That is in line with national statistics.
The report also shows 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce, and the unemployment rate for young Americans is the worst it has been in 60 years.
Indiana Business Research Center Director Jerry Conover says the Annie E. Casey report points out the nation should take a two generation approach to dealing with the problem. He says that means making young parents more employable and better educated. Otherwise it will be a perpetual cycle.
“Here in Indiana we’re not too different from the nation overall in the figures that they came up with about 27 percent of older teens have jobs in Indiana,” he says.
The report shows the number of Americans aged 16 to 24 is half of what it was just more than a decade ago and the lowest since the 1950s. Twenty-year-old Brandan Fetz of Franklin says he has friends that have graduated and still live at home.
“I’ve tried to talk to them about it,” Fetz says. “Tried to steer them in the right direction and they just want to do their own thing. They think they have it good as they have it right now living at their parents. And I’m like in 5 to 10 years you’re going to have to move out. You need to get a job and get going.”
The report emphasizes the need to provide flexible pathways to success for more young people, including those without financial means.