In Kensington and Eastern North Philadelphia, the unemployment rate for young adult dropouts is close to 50 percent.
While staggering, that number only begins to tell the story. Roughly 1,500 of the 3,000 or so dropouts aged 20-24 in this part of the city are not even trying to find work and are therefore not counted in unemployment statistics.
That means that only one in four young adults without a high school diploma in Kensington/Eastern North Philly has a job. Citywide, it’s about one in three.
Take Monica Reyes.
Since dropping out of Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts at 17, her troubles have mounted.
On a whim, she quit her last job, selling sneakers, and she’s been unable to find work since. She terminated an unplanned pregnancy, a decision that still haunts her. Her father died. After getting shot—”wrong place, wrong time,” she explained—she spent a few weeks in the hospital. Last summer, she was arrested for marijuana possession, her latest minor run-in with the law.
“It just seemed like the problems built up,” said Reyes.
Read more here. Kensington used to be a vibrant manufacturing hub. Where have all those jobs gone — overseas perhaps? Did government regulations end these jobs and help create this mess?