What does this measure?
The percentage of the population ages 16-19 that is not enrolled in school and not working (either unemployed or not in the labor force).
Why is this important?
Whether a young person is in school or working is an indicator of future success. Reasons for youth not being in the workforce or enrolled in school vary significantly, but one common factor is the level of literacy and math skills developed in school. The United States has a larger share of disengaged youth and individuals with low numeracy skills than other developed nations. Young people not in school or working are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug use and violence.
How is our county doing?
In 2017-21, 6% of youth ages 16-19 in Essex County were not in school or not working, slightly lower than the state rate of 5% and less than the national rate of 7%. Since 2000, the rates for Essex County, the state and nation have all remained relatively flat. Youth populations for most other local areas were too small to yield reliable survey results.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County's rate was similar to Lake, IL, but above Middlesex, MA and Westchester, NY, both with a rate of 4% in 2017-21.
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.