1 in 4 Young Adults in New York City Out of School and Out of Work in 2020

After declining for years, 18- to 24-year-old New Yorkers out of school and out of work hit a decade high of over 180,000 — 27%. This represents an 80% increase from 2019. That increase eliminated all gains made since 2010. The rise was broad and directly connected to the restrictions and economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The number not in the labor force rose 40%; the unemployment rate doubled; and the out of school, out of work rate was highest in the Bronx at 37%.

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JobsFirstNYC commissioned and co-created this brief with economists at Chmura Economics & Analytics using data from the Current Population Survey, one of the first data sets available with detailed 2020 economic data on young adults in New York City. This brief provides certain high-level data highlights in advance of a longer report about the pandemic’s effects on young adults in New York City during 2020.

The brief helps readers assess 2020 impacts by looking at how out of school rates, unemployed-but-in-the-labor-force rates, and not in the labor force rates in 2020 differed from the average in years prior. These findings are based upon preliminary data and may be updated once the Census Bureau releases additional data later in 2021.

Past JobsFirstNYC reports have used American Community Survey data, which is not currently available for 2020. This report was drafted using the Current Population Survey, which is the first available data for 2020. To learn more about the American Community Survey click here and to learn more about the Current Population Survey click here.

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