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Twin Cities youth rank high in education, employment

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The Twin Cities metro area ranks high among the nation's 25 largest cities for education and employment of people age 16 to 24, show findings from a study released today.

But of that age group nationally, nearly 15 percent of people were not in school and not working in 2011, says the study compiled by Measure of America, a New York-based research group.

The report's authors call this group 'disconnected youth.' In the Twin Cities, slightly more than 9 percent of youth fit this category.  Only the city of Boston had a lower number of disconnected young people.

Study co-author Sarah Burd-Sharps said young people who are unemployed and out of school can face hardships later in life.

"At that stage in life you're sort of laying the foundations for productive adult life," Burd-Sharps said. "Being adrift in this period of time — missing out on knowledge, skills, the identity and purpose that school or work offer you — can really scar kids throughout their lifetime."

The study also found that young African Americans in the Twin Cities are three-times more likely to be disconnected than their white counterparts.