New study finds 92 percent of black male teens are unemployed - FOX 32 News Chicago

New study finds 92 percent of African American male teens are unemployed

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Startling new figures about the state of our economy have recently come out.

Ninety-two percent of African American male teenagers in Chicago don't have a job.

A trend that continues to head in the wrong direction, for white and Hispanic teens, too.

The jobs catastrophe here is far worse than the national average.

These shocking numbers released by the Chicago Urban League are one more grim result of Illinois having 600,000 fewer jobs today than we did in the year 2000. Work that teens traditionally did, from delivering newspapers to flipping burgers, is now done by adults desperate for any income.

High school senior Dvante King is one of the lucky ones. He actually found two on-and-off part-time jobs last year. Combined, he earned less than a thousand dollars.

However, he was part of the eight percent of African-American male teens in Chicago who did find legitimate work; 92 percent of those age 16-19 were unemployed.

"It's a very shocking number. Like, if anybody else see them numbers, hopefully they'll come together, like we need do something," King said.

The jobless plight of Chicago's black teens, especially males, was analyzed in a new study released Friday by the Urban League. Nationwide 17 percent of black males 16-19 had some sort of job; 12 percent in Illinois; just 8 percent in Chicago.

"We do the studies because I don't think most people realize how bad the problem is and understand why this should be a priority issue. They think, "Oh, summer jobs for kids. That's a nice thing." It's not a "nice thing." It's a required thing," President of the Chicago Urban League Andrea Zopp said.

Dvante King got one of his jobs last summer though Diane Latiker's Kids Off the Block, referred to a City Hall program.

"Nothing is being invested to give those young people whose jobs are being taken, nothing is being done to create jobs for them," Latiker said.

Something to think about, especially when teens, like King, who are employed, are asked how it feels and they respond, "I mean, it made me feel, it made me feel wonderful."

Yet, nine out of 10 young men like him, though, don't get to experience that wonderful feeling of validation and achievement that comes from being able to say, "I have a job."

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