NEARLY HALF OF CHICAGO’S BLACK MEN ARE UNEMPLOYED AND OUT OF SCHOOL

Hispanic or Latinos and Whites youths are likely to be more employed in Chicago than Blacks.

Youth unemployment and school dropout in Chicago has recently seen a surge according to the recent unemployment report from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute.

The report stated that 47 percent of young Black men are unemployed and not in school. Hispanic has 20 percent and white men have 10 percent.

The striking data was the subject of discussion at the fifth annual hearing about youth joblessness hosted by the Chicago Urban League at its headquarters.

Director of Great Cities Institute, Teresa Cordova, said in a news release that “we are losing a generation of youth who have no opportunity to work in their neighborhoods. It is a tragedy for those youth and it is a tragedy for the communities they live in and the city as a whole.”

Alternative Schools Network (ASN), a nonprofit organization centered on providing economic resources to Chicago’s dissipated youth has also commented on the report.

The executive director of ASN said, “We are seeing the results of this monumental policy failure every day, as the shootings mount up and the funerals multiply.”

Jack also said that “the new data that’s being presented draws a straight line between the unemployment crisis for youth and the escalating violence in Chicago’s hardest hit neighborhoods.”

The report also indicates that 41 percent of Black youths in general were jobless and out of school in 2014.

The figure is clearly distressing because it is nearly 7, 50, and 40 percent higher than cities like Illinois, New York and Los Angeles respectively.

The report highlights that the lowest concentration of youth unemployment is in mostly white neighborhoods on the North and Northwest sides while the city’s South and West sides neighborhoods, like Fuller Park, Englewood, East Garfield Park and North Lawndale, which are predominantly Black, have highest concentration of youth unemployment.

Johnathan Allen, 24, said a walk down the street is enough to convince you that joblessness is obvious in Black communities. “It’s right there in your face; you don’t need statistics,” he said.

Sadly, the report is depressing as those enrolled at school, still face staggering unemployment rates and therefore cannot support their families as in the case of Deshawn Muldrow, 17, whose mother is sick, gets supports from grandmother who works at a senior citizens home.

Muldrow is a senior at CCA Academy, a charter school in his neighborhood.

According to Jack Wuest, “investments in creating meaningful work for these youth will pay dividends immediately and for years to come. A failure to do so has had and will continue to have dire consequences for our city and our state.”

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