Queens is located in New York City and is the largest borough in terms of geographical space. It is the second-most populous borough in the city, with a population of 2.2 million. The population is diverse, with almost half of the population being foreign-born. The US Census Bureau reported that the population is 50% white, 28 % Hispanic, 24% Asian, 21% black, and 3% mixed race (Taylor, 2018). Education and economics, however, tell a different story of parity where 13% of the Queens population live below the poverty line. Youth aged 25 and above have an average of 25 % diploma literacy, and 10% have attained a professional degree. The Queens population’s possible needs include quality education and employment opportunities for the youth. This is aimed at discouraging them from the vices such as substance abuse that emanate from being idle and having an unsustainable income.
In recent years, government and public attention have been focused on the boroughs disconnected youths, who are neither in school nor employed. The group has been targeted as a measure to alleviate the poverty levels of the population. The city department of education has rolled out programs such as the Young Adult Borough Centers, which aims at strengthening the school community partnerships to keep the youth connected. The program combines education and community service to help the youth who had dropped out to transition from GED to college. Common point Queens Workforce Department is an agency dedicated to supporting the unemployed with programs such as job placement assistance and vocational training.
The unemployment rate in Queens stood at 3% at the beginning of the year, with the number soaring due to the COVID -19 pandemic that has hit New York City hard. The employment rate is still rife among Hispanics and blacks, encouraged by the population’s level of literacy. This program designed to cater to the job opportunities is biased to people without a college degree, making it impossible for the identified population to get into a career with a sustainable income. The negative effect of this unemployment rate is the vices that accompany it, such as substance abuse and crime.
The unemployment rate among low-income workers is expected to rise due to the measures taken to limit the spread of the virus. However, this unemployment rate has been a recurring scenario in recent years, with the people of color been affected the most. The programs created to address this issue have not been successful, and this has led to the influx of crime and substance abuse related to the massive unemployment problem.
Taylor, J. K. (2018). Re-envisioning community spaces in Corona, Queens, New York City. City, Culture and Society, 14, 14-21.