According to a report published by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, published October 2015,
Developing the leadership skills and addressing the social and emotional needs of youth to help them become engaged and productive members of their communities
5.6 million youth in the United States ages 16-24 who are not in school and not working
The personal and collective costs of youth disconnection are staggering. Young adults who are not in school and not working cost taxpayers $93 billion annually and $1.6 trillion over their lifetimes in lost revenues and increased social services. Regarding Disconnected Youth, in particular, Arizona stands at 17.3 percent compared to the national average of 13.8 percent. That translates into 146,510 youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and not working. In metropolitan Phoenix, defined by the Census Bureau as Maricopa and Pinal Counties, the population of all youth 16-24 was 539,437 in 2013. Opportunity Youth comprised 17.1 percent with 92,248 individuals aged 16-24 who were neither working or in school. A 2012 study attempted to measure the annual and lifetime costs imposed on taxpayers for each Opportunity Youth . These costs include lost earnings, reduced economic growth and lower tax revenues. The study estimated that each Opportunity Youth imposes an immediate taxpayer burden of $13,900 per year and an immediate social burden of $37,450 per year on average and compared to other youth. Taxpayer burden refers to the direct costs taxpayers will have to endure. Social burden refers to the productivity loss to the economy. These are annual amounts for each year that a youth is identified as having Opportunity Youth status. After each Opportunity Youth reaches 25, he or she will subsequently impose a future lifetime taxpayer burden of $170,740 and a social burden of $529,030. Thus, the immediate burden is only a fraction of the future loss in potential: on average, only one quarter of the burden is incurred in youth (up to age 24); three-quarters is incurred afterward (ages 25-65). For the 92,248 Opportunity Youth in metro Phoenix and Tucson, these costs are staggering: a total taxpayer burden of $27.3 billion and a total social burden of $218.5 billion. On a national level, 5.6 million Opportunity Youth have a potential taxpayer burden of $1.56 trillion and an aggregate social burden is $4.75 trillion. Done right, Opportunity Youth can make more loyal employees, thus reducing turnover. benefits to employers from hiring Opportunity Youth: o Cost-effective talent acquisition o Increased retention (reduced turnover) o Increased diversity (this is a major goal in many companies and industries). If a company has already embraced the goal of a more diverse workforce, then hiring Opportunity Youth is clearly a relevant solution, since most Opportunity Youth are non-White. o Enhanced employee engagement: Opportunity Youth are often very appreciative of employment and so can be quite engaged. o Stronger community ties: hiring Opportunity Youth can help improve a company’s relations with the wider community.