Volunteering Continues to Creep Skyward in the United States

Volunteering up again, slightly, in 2009.

This week the Corporation for National and Community Service announced that a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that 1.5 million more people in the U.S. volunteered in 2009 than in 2008.

The number of people volunteering through organizations rose from 61.8 million to 63.4 million between September 2008 and 2009.

The survey — conducted with the help of the Corporation — asked 60,000 households about their volunteerism habits through a supplement to the September 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS). The Corporation will use this week’s BLS findings to produce the annual Volunteering in America report. (See my write up about the 2009 report from this past July).

Between September 2007 and September 2008, the number of volunteers increased by one million. In the fall of 2008 the U.S. economy started its dramatic nosedive which definitely increased the need for volunteers at social service organizations throughout the country.

Interestingly, though, it doesn’t look as though unemployed people are the ones who swelled the ranks of volunteers. Continue reading

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Youth Service is a Powerful Strategy for Youth Employment

Reports from the US and many other regions in the world continue to show that young people are bearing the brunt of the recession.

In the US, the Center for American Progress reports that minority workers, teens and less-educated workers have unemployment rates far above the national average. The latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in July 2008, 3.4 million young people in the United States were unemployed representing a youth unemployment rate of 14 percent, the highest rate recorded for July since 1992.

According to the National Youth Employment Council, “an unprecedented “age twist” in employment rates occurred in the US over the past 8 years with older workers (55+) improving their employment rates strongly while teens and 20-24 year old males reached new post-World War II lows.”

This trend is true in many parts of the developing and developed world. In several countries, young people represent the largest cohort in society yet experience some of the lowest employment rates.

The Middle East/North Africa region has an unemployment rate near 15 percent, the highest of any region in the world. Young people in the region experience even greater unemployment with average rates of 25 percent, far exceeding the world Continue reading

Volunteering Up in America (Slightly)

From VolunteeringinAmerica.gov

From VolunteeringinAmerica.gov

A study published by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) yesterday details the latest volunteering trends.

Volunteering in America 2009, the latest version of an annual report that looks at volunteerism in the United States, shows a slight increase in the number of volunteers in 2008. A companion website also called Volunteering in America offers links to summaries of the report and a look at volunteering trends in the 50 states and nearly 200 cities.

Last year, a million more people age 16 and older volunteered (without pay) at organizations than in 2007.  61.8 million people (26.4 percent of the adult population) volunteered 8 billion hours of their time through organizations.  CNCS Continue reading