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Youth, Jobs, and the FutureProblems and Prospects$
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Lynn S. Chancer, Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, and Christine Trost

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190685898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190685898.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Youth, Jobs, and the Future
Author(s):

Lynn S. Chancer

Martín Sánchez-Jankowski

Christine Trost

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190685898.003.0001

This chapter provides an overview of youth unemployment. Widespread job destruction and losses in earnings precipitated by the Great Recession (2007–2009) have had an unprecedented impact on American teens and young adults. In spite of a partial economic recovery, American youth continue to experience significantly higher levels of unemployment and underemployment than older adults. Indeed, employment prospects for youth have been declining for more than two decades as a result of significant changes in the structure and nature of work. The rise of the “24/7 economy” and nonstandard work schedules, polarization between “good” and “bad” jobs, the replacement of routine manual work with automation, the steady decline in manufacturing jobs, and the rise in low-wage insecure jobs without benefits all contribute to diminished employment prospects. At the same time, the “American dream” remains a deeply embedded cultural ideology often at odds with actual problems that are increasingly encountered. Ultimately, youth face heightened socioeconomic precariousness and insecurity not only in the realm of work but also in school as the cost of a college education continues to skyrocket.

Keywords:   youth unemployment, Great Recession, young adult, American youth, 24/7 economy, work insecurity, college education

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