Study: 6 Million Youths Unemployed and Not in School

Researchers worry that 15 percent of America's young adults will become an economic burden on their communities

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Mark Lennihan / AP

A crowd of job seekers attends a health care job fair in New York

Fifteen percent of people aged 16 to 24 in the United States are neither working nor in school, according to a new study.

Researchers said the study, released Monday by the Opportunity Nation coalition, highlights the dim likelihood that without learning skills at work or acquiring knowledge in high school or college, these young adults are less likely to command higher salaries, the Associated Press reports — and more likely become an economic drain on their communities,

“This is not a group that we can write off. They just need a chance,” said Mark Edwards, executive director of the Opportunity Nation coalition. “The tendency is to see them as lost souls and see them as unsavable. They are not.”

The report found that young adults’ communities were closely tied to their success. The study tracked 16 factors — including college graduation rates, Internet access and income inequality — to identify the states where young people are thriving the most. Vermont, Minnesota and North Dakota topped the list. Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico came in last.