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For Job-Hunting Teenagers, the Market Is Brutal

If you think the U.S. job market is snapping back, you’re probably not a teenager hunting for work. A report released today (PDF) uses new statistics and analysis to call attention to an employment decline that’s so big it would be considered a national emergency if it affected people older than age 19.

The study’s lead author, Andrew Sum, the head of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, brings a reformer’s zeal to the topic. In 2000, he points out, 45 percent of teens (aged 16 to 19) were employed. By 2011, the last year covered by the study, that ratio had plummeted to 26 percent.