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New study has sobering findings about life for Newark youth

Newark Youth Opportunity Network

A recent study paints a bleak picture of the economics of life in Newark. It’s the work of a nonprofit called Measure of America. Director Kristen Lewis says it’s not that the city doesn’t have jobs, there’s just a mismatch.

“People who come from other communities to work in Newark compared to people who live in Newark have household incomes that are about three times higher than the household incomes of a Newark resident,” she said. “There are opportunities for good-paying jobs in Newark, they’re just not accessible to the people who live there.”

The study identified areas that are an urgent priority for Newark, chief among them childcare, transportation and broadband.

It has some concerning data for a particular segment of the population.

“We’re seeing consistently in our studies that Black men have higher rates of youth disconnection, so for Newark it’s 1 in 4 Black men are out of school and out of work,” she said, explaining that disconnected youth are those with no ties to school or work.

“What’s really striking to us, though, is that the rates can go up and down but what we always see are these big gaps between racial and ethnic groups that are sort of stubborn no matter if the rates are going up or down,” said Lewis.

The study found that while boys and young men are more likely to be disconnected than girls and young women, Newark’s young female population still has an unusually high disconnection rate.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.