Unemployment rates skyrocket among Millennials

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If you are a member of the Millennial generation between the ages of 18 and 29, the job market and employment rates aren’t looking too good right now.

Unemployment is proving to be a major obstacle for Millennials. (Photo illustration by Chris Bunker)

Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan organization that advocates for young adults ages 18–29, released its January Millennial jobs report. According to the report, some of the major facts include:

  • The youth unemployment rate for 18–29-year-olds specifically for January 2013 was 13.1 percent..
  • The youth unemployment rate for 18–29-year-old African-Americans for January 2013 was 22.1 percent; the youth unemployment rate for 18–29-year-old Hispanics for January 2013 was 13.0 percent; and the youth unemployment rate for 18–29-year-old women for January 2013 was 11.6 percent.
  • The declining labor participation rate has resulted in an additional 1.7 million young adults not being counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
  • If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18–29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18–29 unemployment rate would rise to 16.2 percent.

Terence Grado, director of national and state policy at Generation Opportunity, expressed his concern on the high level of unemployed young adults. 

“It’s not rosy for 18 to 29 year olds,” Grado said. “We have the education, we have the skills, we want to work. It’s just that there aren’t jobs available.”

Young adults don’t seem too pleased with the way the job market is looking. Cole Herman, a business management major from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, just returned to the country from serving a two-year mission in El Salvador. Herman is trying to get back into the swing of things but cannot seem to find a place that will hire him.

“I’m doing a lot of nothing when I could be doing a lot of something: working,” Herman said.

Due to the increase in unemployment rates, overly qualified young adults are having to take jobs at a much lower experience level because it’s all they can get. College graduates are having to find jobs at minimum-wage establishments so they can put food on the table. The stress of finding a job in a poor job market can be intimidating.

Londyn Clawson, a broadcast journalism major from Highlands Ranch, Colo., expressed frustration in finding a job her senior year of college.

“I’m a college student, and I need money to go here,” Clawson said. “It’s hard to be here without having money and having a job.”

While the fight for obtaining good jobs continues, young adults can only hope for the best. Good attitudes and optimism can be helpful, Herman said.

“The unemployment rate percentage doesn’t scare me, it just gives me the reason to work harder so I can stick out from all the rest of the applicants!”

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