Youth & Young Adult Employment

Many youth and young adults in the United States have difficulty finding pathways to stable employment and economic security in adulthood. Gaining work experience and educational credentials early in one’s work life can help set young adults on an upward path of economic mobility, but approximately 4.5 million young people ages 16 to 24 are disconnected from work and school, and a significant number face long-term economic instability. Due to structural inequities—including historical and ongoing racism, and patriarchy—some groups of young people (e.g., youth of color, young women, youth who experienced childhood poverty, children of parents with low education levels, or young people who have interacted with the foster care or justice systems) lack access to early education and employment opportunities that can advance their economic security.