Our Place in the Universe: Worst for teens seeking employment - News - News - Blogs - Atlanta Magazine

Our Place in the Universe: Worst for teens seeking employment

Posted By: Jackson Reeves · 4/5/2011 9:00:00 AM
"Want fries with that?" Apparently, teens in Georgia could only dream of saying that on a regular basis. According to info from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as analyzed by the Employment Policies Institute), Georgia is the worst state in the country for teens seeking employment, the AJC reported. Of all states, half have teen unemployment rates over 25 percent, and the national average is 24.5 percent. Georgia's rate is 37.3 percent. (California came in second with 34.2 percent, while New York finished out the bottom half with 25.4 percent.) The study argues that higher labor costs and higher minimum wages have made hiring low-skill workers for entry level positions an unideal prospect for employers. Unfortunately, that modifier is built into the very definition of being a teen worker. And the prospect of molding an employee from scratch used to be seen as an advantage that the youth labor force could monopolize. These figures certainly don't inspire a lot of hope for a state that still holds an unemployment rate (10.2 percent, as of February) higher than the national average (8.9 percent).
Here is the list of the top five states with the worst teen unemployment rates, along with some other notable Southern states with rates above 25 percent (our region is disappointingly well represented in the figures):
1. Georgia, 37.3%
2. California, 34.2%
3. South Carolina, 33.3%
4. Washington, 33.2%
5. Nevada, 32.9%
6. Mississippi, 32.6%
7. Florida, 30.9%
9. Alabama, 30.6%
16. North Carolina, 27.2%
21. Tennessee, 26.3%
22. Kentucky, 26.1%
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