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August 2022
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Youth Unemployment

Daniel Henninger wrote on WSJ editorial page that the youth unemployment in the US is rising, now at 20%. He is worried about the US becoming another Europe, where welfare state creates a shortage of private-sector jobs.

Unemployment today doesn’t look like any unemployment in the recent American experience. We have the astonishing and dispiriting new reality that the “long-term jobless”—people out of work more than six months (27 weeks)—was about 44% of all people unemployed in February. A year ago that number was 24.6%.

This is not normal joblessness. As The Wall Street Journal reported in January, even when the recovery comes, some jobs will never return.

But the aspect of this mess I find more disturbing is the numbers around what economists call “youth unemployment.” The U.S. unemployment rate for workers under 25 years old is about 20%.

“Youth unemployment” isn’t just a descriptor used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s virtually an entire field of study in the economics profession. That’s because in Europe, “youth unemployment” has become part of