November 04, 2016

The Young Adult Labor Force in Massachusetts

A PIC-commissioned study conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute finds that teen and young adult participation in the labor market has not recovered significantly, in contrast to the near-full employment numbers in most other segments of the labor market. As reported in the  Boston Globe, "Stubborn youth employment is worrisome to economists and policymakers, because early jobs help workers build communication and cooperation skills, figure out career paths, and establish networks that can help them later in life." 

The plight of disconnected youth, often referred to as Opportunity Youth, is particularly disturbing. The 9% of the state's teens and young adults who are neither at work nor in school face the toughest path, according to the Donahue Institute's Mark Melnik, the principal author of the report. Black and Hispanic youth are more than twice as likely as white and Asian youth to be out of school and out of work. 

The full study is available on the UMass Donahue website. For more information regarding this study, please contact Joe McLaughlin, Research and Evaluation Director, at or 617.488.1314.

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