CHICAGO, June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois is losing nearly $9.5 billion in future tax revenue, as tens of thousands of out-of-school youth who lack a high school diploma can't find work, according to a new report. Today a news conference with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin; U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-2); Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-10); and Chicago Ald. Patrick O'Connor (Ward 40) addressed findings in the report The High Costs for Out of School & Jobless Youth in Chicago and Cook County.
"The best anti-poverty, anti-crime, anti-violence program is a job," Durbin said. "That's why Congresswoman Kelly and I introduced legislation to help provide our nation's youth with increased opportunities for employment. Chicago needs the federal government to be an engaged partner when it comes to expanding economic opportunity, and I will continue working to achieve this goal."
The report, by the UIC Great Cities Institute (GCI) and commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network (ASN), studies the relationship between education and unemployment; education and wages, and taxes paid. The report calls for substantive policy solutions to address underlying factors. For copies of the report- https://greatcities.uic.edu. or www.asnchicago.org/press-conference-061217.
The report paints a grim picture of employment prospects for people ages 16 to 24 in in the country.
When the rates are broken down by race and ethnicity, the picture becomes starker for some. Nationwide 30 percent of Whites ages 20 to 24 are out of work. 77 percent of 16- to 19-year-old Blacks in the U.S. are out of work, 85 percent of Chicago Blacks in that age group are out of work.
For 20- to 24-year-olds, the U.S. had higher out-of-work rates for whites and Hispanics.
Ultimately, taxpayers across Illinois feel the impact. Illinois and the U.S. loses an estimated $197,055 in future tax revenue over the working life of each of the 48,108 jobless out-of-school youth who lacks a diploma in Illinois, totaling nearly $9.5 billion.
"Our young people need to know that they too can live the American Dream. Far too often, they are faced with bleak statistics and mantras of 'you can't do it. It's past time to start creating good-paying jobs by reinvesting in Illinois and our communities. We have legislation to achieve our goals, we just need the political will from our colleagues," said Kelly.
Ironically, youth joblessness comes as the U.S. economy is experiencing growing labor shortages and Illinois' unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than a decade. However, joblessness for some sections of the population is nearly 70 percent, according to the GCI report.
Unless something is done, the trend will continue, if Illinois is a guide. State residents ages 16 to 24 face jobless rates up to 70 percent, the GCI study reveals.
44 percent of the 16- to 19-year-olds in Illinois who are out of school and out of work with no high school diploma are from Cook County. For 20- to 24-year-olds, 45 percent live in Cook County.
"Nothing builds a future like a job," Gainer said. "Think about your first job. The experience and relationships young people build at their first jobs lead to lifelong success. Jobs establish roots in communities and strengthen entire neighborhoods."
"We must prepare the next generation for work and we will, because their future is our future," O'Connor said. "And I am determined to make that future positive for them and for Chicago."
Earlier this spring, Durbin and Kelly jointly introduced two pieces of legislation to expand and increase access to employment opportunities for at-risk youth. The Helping to Encourage Real Opportunity (HERO) for At-Risk Youth Act and the Creating Pathways for Youth Employment Act will increase federal resources for communities seeking to create or grow employment programs and provide tax incentives to businesses and employers to hire and retain youth from economically distressed areas.
- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
- U.S. Representative Robin Kelly, D-2
- Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-10
- Chicago Ald. Patrick O'Connor, Ward 40
- Teresa Córdova, Director, University of Illinois at Chicago Great Cities Institute
- Jack Wuest, Executive Director, Alternative Schools Network
- Keisha Davis-Johnson, Principal, Youth Connection Leadership Academy
- A Student from Youth Connection Leadership Academy
ABOUT ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS NETWORK
The Alternative Schools Network (ASN) is a not-for-profit organization in Chicago working to provide quality education with a specific emphasis on inner-city children, youth and adults. Since 1973, ASN has been supporting community based and community-run programs to develop and expand training and other educational services in Chicago's inner-city neighborhoods. www.asnchicago.org.
ABOUT THE GREAT CITIES INSTITUTE
UIC Great Cities Institute's goal is to link its academic resources with a range of partners to address urban issues by providing research, policy analysis and program development. Tied to the University of Illinois at Chicago Great Cities Commitment, GCI seeks to improve quality of life in Chicago, its metropolitan region and cities throughout the world. For copies of this and previous reports please go to https://greatcities.uic.edu.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
CONTACT: LAURIE R GLENN
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-report-highlights-billions-in-lost-tax-revenues-from-out-of-work-youth-without-high-school-diplomas-amidst-national-labor-shortage-300472073.html
SOURCE Alternative Schools Network