Young and unemployed service-industry workers face bleak prospects.
New York City has been hit harder by the economic crisis set off by the pandemic than most other major American cities.
But no age group has had it worse than young workers. By September, 19 percent of adults under 25 in the city had lost jobs compared with 14 percent of all workers, according to James Parrott, the director of economic and fiscal policy at the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.
Young adults have been especially vulnerable because they were overrepresented in the service industries that have been decimated by social distancing restrictions.
While workers under 25 made up just 10 percent of the city’s total work force of 4.8 million before the pandemic, they held 15 percent of the jobs in the hardest-hit service industries, including restaurants, retail stores, and arts, entertainment and recreation businesses, Mr. Parrott said.
The consequences of losing a job for workers just starting out can reverberate for years, leading to lower wages, fewer job prospects and financial hardship and instability, especially for those already burdened with college or credit card debt.
The national picture mirrors what is happening in New York.
Across the country, the overall unemployment rate for November was 6.7 percent, but it was 10.5 percent for 20- to 24-year-olds. By contrast, the rate for those 25 to 54 was 6 percent.
Workers under 25 filed slightly over one million claims in October for regular state unemployment benefits — not including pandemic assistance — compared with nearly 80,000 for the same month last year.
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