Youth unemployment is consistently higher than that of the rest of the working population, and the COVID pandemic and resultant economic downturn has further exacerbated that disparity. On top of employment disparities, young people are also more likely to work in jobs and industries that provide few benefits, low wages, and minimal support, which deeply affects their personal and professional wellbeing and success. 

The YES Project’s youth-centered research seeks to provide critical context around these numbers to allow the field to better understand how young people are experiencing and perceiving the world of work. As the nation grapples with economic recovery, addressing systemic oppression, and the changing nature of work, it is crucial to understand the experiences, needs, and goals of young people to ensure that decisions made on young people’s behalf are made based on their own perspectives.


youth employmentThe State of Youth Employment:  Navigating the World of WorkDuring COVID-19

Check out results from our latest quantitative study, exploring how young people are navigating the world of work during this challenging time, how the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped their work experiences, the role of racism and discrimination in young people’s career trajectories, and more.


             (Click to enlarge and download)

infoInfographic: The Research Case for Prioritizing Young People in Economic Recovery Research paints an urgent picture: Congress must act to support young people in COVID-19 recovery efforts. This infographic outlines key findings from our and others' latest research on the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic fallout on young people's work trajectories. It also includes specific policy opportunities to center young people in recovery efforts.

finding awayFinding A Way Forward: Young People's Experiences Navigating the World of Work

This qualitative study explores specific questions about work and careers from the perspectives of 65 young adult participants in five career pathways programs across the country.Grounded in the key components of the YES Project's ReadyConnectedSupported
framework, this report provides a glimpse into young people’s perceptions of their career journeys amidst today’s changing employment landscape—specifically those young people who represent groups often excluded from policy conversations: young people of color, those whose families have immigrated to the United States in search of new opportunities, and those from economically disadvantaged and working-class backgrounds. By elevating young people’s perspectives, this report aims to expand understanding of the most important components of early career development in ways that can inform youth-centered research, policy, and practice.


                                    READ THE REPORT

Ready, Connected, Supported: A Framework for Youth Workforce Development and the YES Project

Ready, Connected, Supported: A Framework for Youth Workforce Development and the YES Project, a working paper from the Center for Promise—the research arm of America’s Promise Alliance--provides an overview of the “Ready, Connected, Supported” framework—the backbone of America’s Promise Alliance’s YES Project. This framework represents a shared approach from which everyone from employers and public officials to community leaders and young people themselves is driving action toward increased opportunities for workplace success and development.



For more information, please contact the Center for Promise at [email protected].



This research was generously supported through a grant from State Farm.®