15:17 PM

COVID-19 and Discrimination Taking a Toll on Youth

New data shows its impact on youth employment and wellbeing.

More than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, young people across the U.S. are struggling. Two-thirds say the pandemic has adversely affected their work life, with stark differences by race and gender.

Many are financially strained, emotionally drained, and facing significant barriers to employment. These barriers are particularly acute among young people of color and women.

These are the findings of a recent America’s Promise Alliance survey. The nationally representative survey of 3,530 people age 16-24 found:

  • Nearly half (40.0%) of young people reported experiencing a sense of financial strain. They report high levels of difficulty surviving financially, paying their bills, and affording basic healthcare costs.
  • More than two-thirds (67.8%) indicated that COVID-19 and the related economic recession have had some effect or a large effect on their work life (e.g., getting the job that they desire or achieving their career goals).
  • 70.1% report experiencing an elevated state of stress "about half the time" or more. More than one in three young people (34.5%) reported feeling this way "most of the time" or "always."
  • Among youth who are unemployed or marginally attached to the labor market, three in four (76%) reported that COVID-19 has made their job search more difficult. Nearly one in three (31%) reported having stopped their job search due to COVID-19.

The survey findings are outlined in The State of Youth Employment: Navigating the World of Work during COVID-19 report. It provides insight into young people’s experiences navigating the labor market and their overall wellbeing. A State Farm® grant supported the research.

“Employers of all types and sizes can play a role in prioritizing opportunities for young people. Those that pay fair wages and cultivate belonging provide not just a job, but a foothold to a meaningful career,” said State Farm AVP of Diversity and Inclusion Rasheed Merritt. “Working with young people and youth-serving organizations, we can create a more hopeful and prosperous future for this generation and those to come.”


About State Farm®:

About the Survey:

The survey for this study was disseminated over a three-week period from late January through mid-February 2021. The study was conducted by the Center for Promise, the applied research institute of America’s Promise Alliance. It was conducted on behalf of the organization’s YES Project, a national youth employment campaign.

About America's Promise / The YES Project:

The YES Project—Young, Employed, Successful—engages America’s Promise Alliance and its partners in unifying the nation to reach a major collective goal: every young person seeking a job can find a job.

America’s Promise Alliance is the driving force behind a nationwide movement to improve the lives and futures of America’s youth. Its work is anchored in the belief that every young person deserves to succeed, and every adult is responsible for making that happen. By bringing together hundreds of national nonprofits, businesses, community and civic leaders, educators, citizens, and young people, the Alliance does what no single organization can do on its own: catalyze action on a scale that reaches millions of young people.

About State Farm:

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its 19,200 agents and 57,500 employees serve approximately 85 million policies and accounts – which includes auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services accountsCommercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit