Using GCI data, the Chicago Tribune continues focus on youth employment

Last week, the Chicago Tribune utilized a new data report prepared by GCI in the article “Chicago tackles youth unemployment as it wrestles with its consequences.“ The report was utilized to determine which neighborhoods experienced short-term changes in youth employment. In neighborhoods with short-term changes, the article’s author, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, explores the community conditions and practices surrounding the local employment conditions.

The Tribune piece tells stories of youth, their challenges to find employment and chronicles how conditions such as neighborhood population loss, diminishing resources for the vulnerable and impoverished, neighborhood perceptions, and lack of large-scale training programs have contributed to the crisis of youth unemployment. The article then identifies job training, education, and placement programs along with direct employers whose efforts have positively impacted youth throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods most in need.

The new GCI report builds upon previous reports, “Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless and Out Of School Teens and Young Adults in Chicago, Illinois and the U.S.,” and, “A Lost Generation: The Disappearance of Teens and Young Adults from the Job Market in Cook County.” In contrast to previous reports, which examined 2014 employment data for 16 to 24 year olds in Chicago Community Areas, this new report examines employment data in Chicago Community Areas over time.

Highlights from the data report titled, “Youth Employment Data: Employment to Population Ratios for 16 to 19 and 20 to 24 Year Olds by Chicago Community Area, 2005-2009 to 2010-2014,” for 16 to 19 year olds include:

  • The Near South Side and Burnside had the largest percentage point increases from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 in employment to population ratios for 16 to 19 year olds in which the Near South Side increased 24.3 and Burnside increased 28 percentage points.
  • The South Side communities with the largest percentage point increases of employment to population ratio for 20 to 24 year olds from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 were Oakland (+4.8), Armour Square (+4.1), Englewood (+3.7), Kenwood (+2.6) and Washington Heights (+.4)
  • The West and Southwest Side Community Areas with the largest percentage point increases of employment to population ratio for 20 to 24 year olds from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 were McKinley Park (-16.9), Clearing (-14.5), East Garfield Park (-13.9), Gage Park (-12.6), and the Lower West Side (-10.7).

For 20 to 24 Year olds:

  • The largest percentage point increases in employment to population ratios for 20 to 24 year olds from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 for West Side Community Community Areas were Humboldt Park (+4), Hermosa (+5.6), West Garfield Park (+3), the Near West Side (+4), and West Town (+5).
  • The North Side Community Areas with the largest percentage point increases of employment to population ratio for 20 to 24 year olds from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 included the Near North Side (+6.7), Lincoln Park (+6.6), Uptown (+2.7), and North Park (+3.1).
  • The largest percentage point increases in employment to population ratios for 20 to 24 year olds from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 for South Side Community Areas were Fuller Park (-19.1), Oakland (-25.4), Douglas (-14.4), Grand Boulevard (-12.3), Kenwood (-12.5), South Shore (-9.4), Hyde Park (-10.5), and Englewood (-10.6).

We are excited that the Chicago Tribune continues its interest in this very important issue. We welcome others to continue their use of our reports for advocacy, grant writing, and further research to improve the quality of life in our cities and regions.

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