First jobs have a long-term impact on the lives of young people and on our nation’s economy. A first job teaches workplace skills, builds field-specific knowledge, establishes networks, and develops the dignity and pride that goes with earning a paycheck.
For such an impactful experience, the unemployment rate for Americans ages 16-24 is remarkably low — at least double the national average. Being unemployed at a young age can yield a long-term impact on social and economic mobility. Studies show unemployment at an early age can leave a “wage scar,” resulting in a person earning less than an equally qualified peer later in life.
So how do we help young people reach this critical milestone?
The next President can help our youth land that valuable first job through policies that both promote private sector employment and youth training, and expand service year and youth corps programs. Deborah Smolover of America Forward explains why now is the time to help young Americans take those first steps from a first job to a career path.
Click here to read America Forward’s three solutions for the next President to help make that happen.
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