Bay Area fifth among metro areas with youth unemployed, not in school

The tech boom can’t solve all problems — such as pervasive unemployment among black and Latino youths, many of whom are also not in school.

In the Bay Area, 12.3 percent of youths aged 16 to 24 — more than 58,000 people — are both not working and not in school, a troubling figure that’s nonetheless well below the national average, according to a report from the New York-based Social Science Research Council.

Out of 25 metro areas surveyed nationwide, the Bay Area had the fifth-lowest rate of “disconnectivity,” in which youths are neither enrolled in school nor employed.

Only Boston; Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; and San Diego had better statistics.

The statistics vary sharply by race: 19.4 percent of black youths and 14.3 percent of Latino youths in Marin, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties are neither working nor in school, according to census data, compared to 8.5 percent for Asians and 11 percent for white youths.

The glut of technology wealth that’s swelled The City’s tax coffers to a record $7.9 billion has driven unemployment down to 5.6 percent in San Francisco — but has trouble trickling down to youth in perennially poor parts of town, the report shows.

The City’s long-suffering southeast — including the Ingleside, Excelsior, Bayview, Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods — has San Francisco’s highest rates of disconnectivity, according to the study.

“Not all communities are receiving equitable access to what makes San Francisco so successful,” said Mia Shackelford, chairwoman of the city’s Youth Commission, in that agency’s annual report.

Getting young people into jobs and job training programs has been a focal point for Mayor Ed Lee, whose summer jobs program saw more than 6,800 youths either find seasonal work or take job-training classes.

But despite record employment figures — San Francisco’s unemployment rate is 5.6 percent — there are some 9,000 people aged 18 to 24 in The City neither working nor in school, according to Glenn Eagleson, an analyst with The City’s Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.

And 7,700 young people, some in the same cohort, lack either a high school diploma or a GED diploma, said Eagleson, who noted that The City still continues to be a “magnet for young adults” — both those with access to economic opportunity and those who are underserved.

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