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Commentary By Charles Fain Lehman

Summer Jobs Reduce Crime

Cities, Public Safety, Economics New York City, Policing, Crime Control, Employment

New York Mayor Eric Adams wants to expand a youth work program that could be a data trove for researchers.

Amid a spate of high-profile crimes, including the murder of two New York City police officers, Mayor Eric Adams debuted a plan to “end gun violence” and restore order. Part of the proposal is what he calls an “unprecedented” expansion of New York’s summer jobs program, creating jobs for up to 250,000 young New Yorkers.

While some may deride such programs as soft on crime, the Adams plan is smart on crime. As I discuss in a recent Manhattan Institute report, research has shown that summer jobs reduce crime, cutting participants’ risk of violent and property crime charges by 30% to 40%.

We’ve learned this from studies of programs in major cities. This research compares young adults who are randomly admitted to a program with those who apply but aren’t admitted. That avoids the pitfall of correlation, such as the possibility that youth who are likely to take jobs are also less likely to commit crime.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal


Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Based on a recent MI issue brief.

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal