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Youth Employment Trends in the Midwest

New research shows labor shortages present persistent challenges for regional economies but can also create opportunities for young workers.

The research, published Tuesday on the University of Illinois farmdocDAILY website, shows youth employment can also help employers fill the part-time, low-wage, and often seasonal positions. Generation Z is relatively smaller than the millennial generation. As a result, fewer young people are working because there are simply fewer young people. However, every Midwestern state had a higher labor force participation rate among workers aged 16 to 19 than the nation. The highest levels of youth employment occur in relatively small, rural counties.

Additionally, the food service and accommodation industry and the retail sector employ the most young workers. The research concludes that connecting young people to beneficial, rather than exploitative, work opportunities is a critical step in building and sustaining the local labor force, but it also directs them toward opportunities that might lead to a career.

Read the report here:

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