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An Analysis of the Spatial Determinants and Long-Term Consequences of Youth Joblessness

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  • Raphael, Steven P.

Abstract

One of the most pressing and pervasive problems facing contemporary American society concerns the alarmingly high rates of joblessness suffered by inner-city African-American youth. Rates of black youth unemployment and joblessness far exceed those of white youth. For the year 1995, the unemployment rate for black youth workers between 16 and 19 years of age was approximately 37 percent for young black men and 34 percent for young black women. Furthermore, the rate of joblessness stood at 75 percent for black male youth and 74 percent for black female youth. In contrast, the comparable unemployment rates for white male and white female youth were 15 and 13 percent, respectively, while the corresponding rates of joblessness were 49 and 48 percent. The relatively high rate of black youth joblessness raises several important questions concerning the causes and consequences of inner-city youth unemployment. Particularly, what explains the consistently large disparity between white and black youth unemployment rates? Is employment discrimination to blame? Do black youth workers lack the skills or personal characteristics demanded by the employers of youth labor? Alternatively, are there systematic demand-side differences in the local labor markets faced by the average white and black youths? Moreover, can studying the determinants of inter-racial differences in youth unemployment provide partial explanations of the large inter-racial differences that exist for adult workers?

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael, Steven P., 1996. "An Analysis of the Spatial Determinants and Long-Term Consequences of Youth Joblessness," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9g71739m, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt9g71739m
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    Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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