Hey youngins: Here’s something to quell that what-will-you-do-with-your-life speech from your extended family over the holidays . . . Minnesota’s youth employment is among the highest in the nation. As Minnesota Public Radio reports, a recent study has found that 42 percent of Minnesotans between the ages of 16 and 19 are currently employed, compared with a national average of only 26 percent. Similarly, 74 percent of Minnesotans considered young adults (between the ages of 20 and 24) currently have jobs, while the national average for this age group sits at only 61 percent.

The study was released from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which reports on youth and employment statistics. The results not only indicate that more Minnesota high school students are finding work early, but that recent college grads may be too—an uplifting statistic in the face of our nation’s continuing economic trouble. While national employment rates are still lower than they were in previous years, it’s nice to think our Midwestern values have played a part in keeping the next generation hard at work in 2012.