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Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16 to 24 Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School

CRS – Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16 to 24 Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School. Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara, Specialist in Social Policy. October 1, 2015.

“This Congressional Research Service (CRS) analysis expands the existing research on disconnected youth. The analysis uses Current Population Survey (CPS) data to construct a definition of “disconnected.” This definition includes non institutionalized youth ages 16 through 24 who were not working or in school at the time of the survey (February through April) and did not work or attend school any time during the previous year. The definition is narrower than those used by other studies because it captures youth who are unemployed and not in school for a longer period of time. This is intended to exclude youth who may, in fact, be connected for part or most of a year. Youth who are both married to a connected spouse and are parenting are also excluded from the definition. For these reasons, the number and share of youth in the analysis who are considered disconnected are smaller than in some other studies. Still, 2. 4 million youth ages 16 through 24—or 6. 1% of this population—met the definition of disconnected in 2014,meaning that they were not in school or working for all of 2013 and at some point between February and April of 2014. Between 1988 and 2014, the rate of disconnection fluctuated between 3.9% (1999 and 2000) and 7.5% (2010). As expected, rates of disconnection have varied over time depending on economic cycles.”

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