Unemployment is low, except for Charlotte’s Youth

July 17, 2018 |

As Mecklenburg County reaches its lowest unemployment rate in years, many businesses are  struggling with a labor shortage and job-seekers are finding a wealth of job opportunities. Nationally, this has decreased overall, as well as for minority populations including women, black, and Hispanic job-seekers. For one group, unemployment remains much higher than average. Youth between the ages of 16 to 24 are having a tougher time getting hired. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Charlotte Works calculated the unemployment rate of youth in each of Charlotte’s zip codes and discovered that, similar to the national trend, youth unemployment is much higher than overall. And similar to the pattern of overall unemployment across Charlotte’s zip codes, youth unemployment is higher in certain neighborhoods than others.

To find the neighborhoods with the highest unemployment, follow the “crescent,” or the neighborhoods surrounding Uptown Charlotte spanning from west to east. These neighborhoods include West Charlotte, Druid Hills, Hidden Valley, and neighborhoods located along the Independence corridor. West Charlotte (zip code 28208) has the highest rate of unemployed youth, followed by zip code 28206 which spans a section of N. Graham Street north of Uptown. Areas with notably low youth unemployment rates can be found along the outskirts of the county line.

Charlotte Works is helping to bridge this unemployment gap by providing Charlotte-area youth with work-based learning opportunities, soft skills training, career planning and development programs. Through our youth program partners, MeckEd, Central Piedmont Community College, and ResCare Workforce Services, Charlotte Works has served more than 1,000 in-school and out-of-school youth, providing more than 370 internships and 330 training scholarships.

Explore youth unemployment in Mecklenburg County further by clicking here.

Note: the youth unemployment rate is calculated by taking the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who are working and dividing it by the number of 16 to 24 year-olds who are employed or are looking for work. It does not reflect the entire population of 16 to 24 year-olds, and labor force participation rates for this age group varies widely by zip code.