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Study: Jobless youth without diplomas cost billions in lost taxes

By CBS Chicago

A new study indicates the U.S. and Illinois are losing out on billions of dollars in tax revenues, due to the number of teens and young adults who are unemployed, out of school, and have no high school diploma.

The new report by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago found nearly a quarter of 20- to 24-year-olds in Chicago and Cook County are out of work, not in school, and don’t have high school diplomas. As many as 33 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds in the city and county are jobless, out of school, and have no diploma.

Overall, Illinois has more than 48,000 people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are jobless, out of school, and without a high school diploma. The study found that costs the state and federal governments an estimated $197,000 in future tax revenue each – or $9.5 billion total over the working life of each young person in that situation.

“With these numbers, we can’t ignore the problem anymore as a city, as a region,” said Dr. Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute, and co-author of the study The High Costs for Out of School & Jobless Youth in Chicago and Cook County.


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