Sunday, January 11, 2009

Experts say crime and youth job losses linked

Chi-Town Daily News:
Chicago community leaders are calling for the city to make a New Year’s resolution: get young people off the streets.

The Chicago Urban League held a public hearing today asking city, state and federal officials to end what they call an epidemic of youth dropouts and joblessness by promoting government programs that would help young people get jobs or go back to schools.

Students from local schools and experts from around the city testified at the hearing, saying that when young people can’t find an job or get an education, it leads to more violence on Chicago streets.

“I think the job rate and the death rate are directly connected,” said Frederick Williams, a student at Academy for Scholastic Achievement on the city’s West Side. “When you take away the jobs, what else do you expect teens to do?”

Of the 1.7 million jobs that have been lost over the last year, 60 percent of those losses have hit people age 25 and younger, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

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