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6.2 million youth without work. 14 million jobs available. Wait, What?

Year Up has identified a vital gap in the youth unemployment challenge. This U.S based organization points out that in this country there are more jobs available than unemployed youth. They focus on training low income youth with the skills they need to succeed, which is a major opportunity area when tackling this challenge.They also work really closely with employers to facilitate the transition to work from those participating in their program. The model seems to be working pretty well since they report 85% success however they cannot support all unemployed youth even in the cities they serve.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
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Year Up has identified a vital gap in the youth unemployment challenge. This U.S based organization points out that in this country there are more jobs available than unemployed youth. They focus on training low income youth with the skills they need to succeed, which is a major opportunity area when tackling this challenge.They also work really closely with employers to facilitate the transition to work from those participating in their program. The model seems to be working pretty well since they report 85% success however they cannot support all unemployed youth even in the cities they serve.

How could this model be replicated by others and especially by those in developing countries, where 90% of youth reside? Do you know any similar programs?

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Photo of David

Hi Luisa! Thanks for sharing the info on YearUp, which seems to be doing great work!

The video is also really cool, but unfortunately misleading. It's not that there are 6.7 million people and 14 million jobs, as stated.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf), there are 9.5 million people total unemployed in the country (as of June 2014). The BLS does not break down its stats to Year Up's target market — urban youth with a high school education or less — because the BLS only breaks down the unemployed by educational achievement for those 25 and older and even then not by rural/suburban/urban status (at least to the best that I could find from the BLS). Still, it seems unlikely that 70 percent of the nation's total unemployed are urban youth with a high school education or less.

And, according to the video, the 14 million jobs are not available now, but over the next decade, or, on average, 1.4 million jobs a year. That means that there are not more jobs available than unemployed, but rather more unemployed than jobs available.

Still, provided Year Up's target market is trained properly, those "6.7 million" of their target market would become fully employed in five years time. But there are three other factors that are missing:
1) Those millions unemployed who have a high-school education or less are competing with millions more unemployed who have more than a high school education.
2) The 1.4 million in new jobs annually will be partially offset by annual job loss (as some industries grow, others shrink).
3) Every year more people will graduate from high school and not continue on to college.

This does not in anyway discount the valuable work that Year Up does; I'm just trying to add some more context to their messaging.