Summer Jobs Found to Reduce Youth Violence

By Nora Fleming — July 10, 2013 1 min read
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A study of Boston teenagers and young adults found decreases in violent behavior after the young people participated in a jobs program, says a new study.

According to The Boston Globe, Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies surveyed 421 teenagers and young adults who participated in a jobs program last summer, supported by the Boston-based State Street Foundation.

Participants reported that after a month of employment, they were less likely to engage in fights, threaten or attack someone with a gun, and engage in other “risky” behaviors like drug and alcohol use, The Globe reports.

More specifically, a month before starting work last summer, 3 percent said they threatened or attacked someone with a gun and 15 percent said they fought with another individual. A month after working, only 1 percent said they threatened or attacked someone with a gun and 8 percent reported fighting. The youths also were more likely to find jobs that fall.

The city government also supports a youth jobs program that will help 10,000 locals work this summer; other area organizations are also running job programs for area teenagers.

As reported on this blog in the past, many cities have reduced youth employment programs in recent years because of budget cuts. This summer, the unemployment rate for teenagers 16 to 19 is estimated to be three times that of the overall adult rate.

There may be some bright spots, however.

New Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that L.A.'s youth jobs program, Hire L.A. Youth Summer Employment Program, will add about 5,000 new jobs as a result of a $1.7 million addition to the program, a combination of private donations and tax dollars, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Baltimore is also pledging funding to support 5,000 youth jobs this summer.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.