Reported by Liku Zelleke
New figures from the new FOX 32 News series “Chicago at the Tipping Point” are revealing the shocking state of the US economy.
The series has revealed that ninety-two percent of African-American male teenagers in Chicago are unemployed. And from the way things are heading, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better for white and Hispanic teens either. This is a clear indication of how bad things are in the city when compared to the national average.
The statistics were revealed by the Chicago Urban League – a small picture that shows how the state of Illinois has 600,000 less jobs at present than it had in 2000. Jobs that were usually done by teens – like delivering newspapers and flipping burgers – are today being done by adults who are desperate for a source of income.
While 92 percent of Chicago’s teenagers (aged between 16 and 19) are jobless, there are the 8 percent lucky ones that have managed to land a job or two, but barely.
One such example is Dvante King. Last year, he managed to land not one, but two, on-and-off part-time jobs. The combined earning from both jobs was less than a thousand dollars.
“It’s a very shocking number. Like, if anybody else [sees] them numbers, hopefully they’ll come together, like we need to do something,” the high school senior said.
The problems the black teens in Chicago were facing were brought to light in the new study that was released by the Urban League. On the national scale, 17 percent of black males that were between 16 and 19 held down some sort of job – just above twice the percentage in Chicago.
“We do the studies because I don’t think most people realize how bad the problem is and understand why this should be a priority issue. They think, “Oh, summer jobs for kids. That’s a nice thing.” It’s not a “nice thing.” It’s a required thing,” Andrea Zopp, president of the Chicago Urban League said.