Mon December 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

'Disconnected Youth' Numbers Rise in Kentucky

Almost 110,000 teens and young adults in Kentucky are not enrolled in school and are not employed, even part-time, according to a new Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Nationwide, the number reaches nearly 6.5 million. In Kentucky between 2000 and 2011 the number of 16-19 year-olds not in school and not employed rose by 3 percent, but the number of idle young adults ages 20-24 climbed by a whopping 88 percent. Both rates exceed the national rate. (Getty Images)

The Kids Count report, "Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity," termed these 16- to 24-year-olds "disconnected." It found that they face many obstacles on their path to securing a stable financial future. For starters, many haven't finished high school and are competing with older Americans for the few entry-level jobs. In addition, they lack skills for higher-paying jobs. Many are poor and have attended under-performing schools. The report explains that, as such, this group can present a significant cost to taxpayers. (Read more) View the report here.