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ETA News Release: [03/17/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0334-NAT

US Department of Labor releases report on youth summer jobs initiative

WASHINGTON — A report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor found that the 2009 Recovery Act Summer Youth Employment Initiative was largely successful in connecting young workers with employment experiences. Overall, 317,000 young people took part in the initiative.

"This summer jobs initiative is a triple win: It gives young people real work experience, provides a measure of relief to those working families who are struggling during tough times and allows employers to give back to their communities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's report shows that summer youth employment can make meaningful work experiences a reality for young people. The report also provides valuable suggestions on concrete ways to build on this success in 2010."

The report was developed by Mathematica Policy Research and funded by the Department of Labor. Titled "Reinvesting in America's Youth: Lessons from the 2009 Recovery Act Summer Youth Employment Initiative," it analyzes monthly performance data submitted to the department's Employment and Training Administration by states and looks closely at the experiences of 20 select local areas.

Among the report's findings:

  • Youths were placed in summer jobs, with almost 13 percent of enrollees placed in work experiences outside summer months. Sixty-three percent of participants were in school, largely ages 18 or younger.
  • Nationwide, local areas reported that nearly 75 percent of youths achieved a measurable increase in their work readiness skills while participating.
  • Available data show a completion rate for summer work of greater than 82 percent.
  • Employers interviewed for this study were overwhelmingly positive about the initiative. They reported that the experience of mentoring a new employee was worth the effort and almost unanimously agreed that they would participate again if given the opportunity.
  • Many youths were enthusiastic about being able to help their families in tough economic times. They also reported that, in the absence of their summer jobs, they would be competing with more experienced adult workers for jobs or doing nothing productive over their summer breaks.

To view the full report, visit the ETA Occasional Paper Series Web site at