Discrimination, lack of job opportunity and the low number of blue-collar and semi-skilled jobs in Washington are major contributors to the city's 38.9 percent unemployment rate for youths and 45.6 percent rate for nonwhite youths last year, according to a recent report by the D.C. Department of Labor.
"The percentage of jobs in service work is slightly below the national level and there is practically no farm work," the report said. "Blue collar jobs, which employ a large percentage of youth nationally, also make up a lower percentage of jobs locally than they do nationally."
White collar jobs are held by 69.3 percent of the district work force compared to 49 percent nationally.
"Throughout the country, employment-seeking youths are not eligible for many of the available jobs," the report continued. "In general youths lack the required training or experience."
While the joblesssness of non-white youths dropped from 48.5 percent to 45.6 percent from 1977 to last year, the rate for white youths, who comprise about 20 percent of the youth work force, dropped from 11.2 percent in 1977 to "an astonishingly low 3.3 percent."
Besides the lack of appropriate jobs the report said another major factor for the high youth unemployment figures in race.
"In 1978, of the 16- to 17-year-old labor force in the District, over 80 percent were nonwhile," the report said.
"There are many reasons, such as discrimination and lack of opportunity, but the fact remains that nonwhites, both teenagers and adults, have higher unemployment rates than whites," the report said.
In addition, most of the new jobs are created in the suburbs and "as a consequence jobs for which unemployed youths are more likely to be qualified are more and more being located outside the city." In general, it was found that wages from those jobs are generally not worth the time or expense of getting there.
In general, as today's youths grow older unemployment rates will decline. For instance the report notes that the annual average unemployment rate for District persons age 20 to 24 last year was 12.8 percent.
"In a few years most of today's youth will have acquired more job skills and experience," the report concluded.
However, in Washington, there remains a key problem: "A high proportion of youth have several of the characteristics correlated with the propensity to become hardcore unemployed later in life."
Some of those characteristics include, "being a member of a minority group, a school dropout, or among the long-term unemployed."
"These factors combine with the general nonavailability of jobs in the District and although unemployment rates of 20 to 24-year-olds indicate that while most overcome obstacles, they still lead to problems for many."
Of a total civilian noninstitutional labor force of 499.000 in 1978, youths comprised 39,000 the report said. Youths, who account for 5 per cent of the total labor force, account for 21.4 percent of total unemployment in the District.VIRGINIA EXPANSION: During the first half of this year the number of firms to announce their expansion or new locations in Virginia were down by two, compared to last year, but expected employment by the firms was up by 228, according to a report by the Virginia governor's office.
During the second quarter this year 19 firms announced plans to expand or relocate in the state, increasing employment by 1,834. The announcements made between April 1 and June 30, include four new and four expanding firms which will each invest more than $1 million.
So far this year 11 new firms and 12 expanding businesses have said they plan to invest $1 million or more in the state.
Industrial classifications of the business announcing their intentions include chemical and allied products, electrical and electronic machinery, stone, clay, glass, concrete products, printing, publishing and allied industries.
The firms which said they will employ 100 or more persons include Comsat General Telesystem in Fairfax County; Hermes Abrasives in Virginia Beach; Gold-schmidt Products Corp. in Hopewell; Virginia Gravure, Inc. in Henrico County and Joy Manufacturing, Inc., Scott County.
E.L. du pont de Nemours in Chesterfield said that it will expand to hire 300 new employes. The firms also said it plans to invest about $200 million in the expansion.
During the first half of 1979, seven new foreign manufacturing concerns said they will build in Virginia.