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Study: 30,000 Young Northwestern People Neither In School, Nor Employed

<p>A new study shows as many as 30,000 people between the ages of 16-24 living in the Portland metro area are neither in school or working.</p>

A new study shows as many as 30,000 people between the ages of 16-24 living in the Portland metro area are neither in school or working.

More than 30,000 young people living in the Portland and Southwest Washington areas are neither in school, nor employed — according to a new study.

That number is equivalent to the populations of Newport, Sandy and Damascus combined.

“People are looking at this and saying: ‘Wow. That’s a lot of people,’” said Andrew McGough of Portland’s Workforce Development.

The study looked at 16 to 24-year-olds.

It found 28 percent of them aren’t employed or in school. Eleven percent are Hispanic, 13 percent are white and 23 percent are black.

McGough said now they’ve pinned down who these people are, they’re trying to figure out how to help. “We have a lot of employers that are screaming for qualified people. The question is, you know, what can we do to make a better connection for them?”

Two thirds of these young people have not looked for work within the last month.

One third of the females are mothers living with children.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.