Tennessee is number five

Among the ten states with the highest unemployment rates in 2011 among residents 20 to 24. Appropriately enough, from a geographic perspective anyway, Tennessee ranked between Kentucky (#6) and North Carolina (#4).  From 24/7 Wall Street.

Ten States Where Young People Can’t Find Work
Historically, things are as bad for young adults in these states as they have been in at least 29 years. Compared to 2001, when the nation was in the middle of its last major recession, the national unemployment rate was roughly the same as it was in 2011. However, the unemployment rate for 20 to 24 year olds was substantially higher. In nine of the states on our list, unemployment rates among this age group were higher than in 1981. In four cases, it is five percentage points higher. 
There appear to be several common trends among the states on our list. Those states with high unemployment among the young have some of the highest proportions of residents without at least a high school diploma. All of the top three states with high youth unemployment were among the 10 with the lowest percentage of 20 to 24 year olds with high school diplomas. 
These states are also, for the most part, extremely poor. Six of them have among the lowest median income in the country. Mississippi, which had the highest youth unemployment in the country in 2011, also had the lowest median income in the country in 2010, the most recent available year. As evidence of the extreme poverty in these states, many of these states have among the highest percentages of residents receiving food stamps. In Tennessee, for example, 17% of residents received food stamps in 2010, the second-highest proportion in the country. . . . 
For Tennessee’s youth, the unemployment rate went up 2.7 percentage points between 2010 and 2011, the second-highest jump in the country. The state has some of the smallest proportions of people holding bachelor’s or advanced degrees, and the second-highest proportion of people on food stamps or enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at 17%. Tennessee’s state government has recently undertaken an initiative called the Pathways to Prosperity Network to help young people get jobs by focusing on career preparation for high school students who do not go to college.

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