1:08pm

Tue August 30, 2011
Economy

Impacts of Teen Unemployment Felt Later In Life

2011 was the third year in a row that teenagers nationwide and in Colorado faced unemployment rates of 20 percent or higher as they looked for summer jobs.

Colorado’s teen unemployment rate was 26.4% through the end of July according to numbers compiled by the Employment Policies Institute. Research fellow Michael Saltsman says it’s actually over 27% when factoring in discouraged teens who simply gave up on finding work.

“Colorado isn’t – is certainly having it no easier than everyone else – and actually the teens over the last year haven’t seen a lot of improvement. So there hasn’t really been an influx of new jobs necessarily that has brought down the unemployment rate for young people.”

But the impact of a difficult labor market has consequences far beyond not earning some extra spending money. Saltsman says research shows that young people miss out on learning critical job skills and they have an increased likelihood of earning lower wages and being unemployed in the future.