Press Release COVID-19 Economic Crisis and Recovery Inequality Jobs Workers

Pandemic Continues to Stymie Young Adults’ Entry into Workforce

June 23, 2021

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460Mail_Outline

Washington DC — A new analysis, released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, measures the impact the pandemic recession has on adults in their early 20s just entering, or trying to get a foothold in, the workforce. 

Using the “NEET” rate, an internationally recognized measure of an age group that is Not in Employment, Education, or Training, researchers Simran Kalkat, Julie Yixia Cai, and Shawn Fremstad find that in the first three months of 2021, about 3.81 million 20- to 24-year-olds, on average, were not in work or school, an increase of 740,000 compared to the same time last year.

“Current and ongoing recovery efforts need to do more to ensure that young adults in today’s diverse working class can improve their long-term prospects in the labor market and prosper in the years ahead,” said CEPR’s Simran Kalkat. 

Black and Hispanic young adults were disproportionately affected by the pandemic economic shock. About one-in-four Black 20- to 24-year-olds were neither in school nor working during the first quarter of 2021 compared to about one-in-five Hispanics and one-in-six whites. 

CEPR has been tracking the impact of the recession on young people throughout the pandemic starting in May 2020, and in July 2020.


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