Teen unem­ploy­ment is triple the national average, but Andrew Sum, Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics and Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, says the number is actu­ally much worse.

Unem­ploy­ment fig­ures only count people who are “actively looking for work,” but many teens and young adults, explains Sum, drop out of the labor market after repeated rejec­tion and then aren’t counted. Sum says employ­ment, is actu­ally a better metric for gauging unem­ploy­ment. What per­centage of the pop­u­la­tion is actu­ally working? It turns out that for 16–24 year-​​olds, that rate is the lowest it’s been since the end of World War II.

You may be thinking, “Yeah, so what? Kids don’t need jobs as much as adults anyway,” but Sum, who has spent his career studying youth employ­ment, says the problem is real, unprece­dented, and it affects the entire nation.

Youth Radio inter­viewed Sum about the impor­tance of putting youth to work, and why the United States is missing the mark.

Read the article at Huffington Post →