An analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) shows that the average unemployment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 in the District of Columbia was 50.1 percent as of June 2011. This corresponds with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing that for D.C. the annual average unemployment rate for teens in 2010 was 49.8 percent.

The 50.1 percent figure is almost double the average teen unemployment rate in June 2007 in the District, when it was 26.2 percent, according to Saltsman.

“Young people are facing more competition for fewer jobs, a lingering consequence of the recession and wage mandates that have eliminated entry-level opportunities,” Saltsman said. “The consequences for this generation of young people missing out on their first job are severe, including an increased risk of earning low wages and being unemployed again in future years.”