The U.S. Youth Unemployment Rate
By: Connell Wise
January 28, 2012
As students start looking for a summer employment, they soon find out that many places where they once were able to seek employment are no longer hiring. The latest economic indicators do not show good signs for working people in this country, especially not young people.
Over the next few months, millions of young people will finish college or high school and be thrust into a job market that is stagnant at best. That number for black youth is 27%. This is two full years after the recession officially ended. As Business Week wrote a few months ago,
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“Although the recession ended in the summer of 2009, youth unemployment remains near its cyclical peak…What keeps the numbers from being even higher is that many teens have simply given up. Some are sitting on couches. Others are in school, which can be a dead end itself. The percentages of American 16- to 19-year-olds who are employed have fallen to below 26 percent, a record low.”
According to the New York Times, only 53% of college graduates from the classes of 2006-2010 are employed full-time. Even recent graduates who are working will make 10% less in their first job than graduates from just a few years ago, down to $27,000 a year.
With the sharply falling employment rates among recent college graduates, there is a growing development of these young people taking low or under-paying jobs that do not match their skills or training. Many of these same young people have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt which they will find very difficult to pay off. How can the United States fix this issue? Please leave your comments below.