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Survey Predicts Tough Job Hunt for Youngsters

May 12, 1986|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Youngsters across the United States are likely to have difficulty finding jobs this summer, just as they did in 1985, according to an annual survey by the Conference Board released Sunday.

Private and public coalitions found jobs for 73,107 youths in 14 major cities last summer, the business-sponsored research group said.

While this figure was up 15% over 1984, virtually all the gains were in New York City and Philadelphia, where private-sector commitment has been both strong and effective, the board said. The two cities generated nearly one-third of all summer jobs in surveyed cities, it said.

Program administrators say a slowdown in economic growth and a decline in federal aid will make job-hunting difficult for youngsters this year, the board said.

"The outlook is not rosy," said Wesley Etheridge, who conducted the survey.

Most of the administrators foresee no growth in job placements in 1986 and several predict a decline, Etheridge said.

A key factor, the board said, is expiration of the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit, which many say has been a major incentive for hiring young people.

Under this program, the government provided an 85% tax credit for the first $3,000 in wages paid to youngsters hired during the summer. Congress did not extend the credit in 1986, although efforts are under way to reinstate this legislation.

The board also found in its latest survey that most youngsters finding jobs last summer worked as retail sales clerks, aides in hotels, parks and fast food restaurants, as helpers on construction and maintenance crews and as clerical workers.

Seventy percent of the youths who found jobs were high school students and 25% were high school graduates, the board said. The remaining 5% were dropouts, it said.

Leading the way, New York City placed 31,584 youngsters in summer jobs last year. That was up from 26,542 in 1984 and 19,789 in 1983.

These jobs were created by the New York City Partnership. This 5-year-old program, one of the most successful in the country, combines the efforts of the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economic Development Council and major corporations and unions.

In Philadelphia, summer job placements climbed to 4,845 in 1985, up from 1,530 in 1984. A key factor in the gain was that program functions, previously carried out by the city's Office of Employment and Training, were turned over to Philadelphia's Private Industry Council, which received a significant boost in funding from foundations and the private sector, the board said.

Here is a list of the 12 other cities in alphabetical order and the number of jobs for 1985 and 1984:

- Baltimore, 4,004 vs. 3,969

- Boston, 2,320 vs. 1,939

- Chicago, 1,038 vs. 1,877

- Cleveland, 1,727 vs. 1,341

- Detroit, 662 vs. 527

- Houston, 6,021 vs. 6,000

- Los Angeles, 10,897 vs. 10,113

- Miami, 3,939 vs. 3,338.

- Omaha, Neb., 358 vs. 344

- Richmond, 820 vs. 890

- San Francisco, 1,389 vs. 1,340

- Seattle, 3,503 vs. 3,251.

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