Unemployment among young adults at 12 percent, at least

Good morning readers,

Unemployment among young adults in the nation continues to be very high, at 12 percent in May, according to a Washington, D.C. nonprofit advocacy group called Generation Opportunity.

That 12 percent is for people ages 18 to 29. It doesn’t include another almost 2 million young adults who have given up for lack of jobs, says the group, citing statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figure those people in, and the unemployment rate for young adults jumps to 17 percent.

The group’s president, Paul Conway, former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Labor, said the numbers represent “yet another chapter in the indefensible saga of how a great generation is being denied economic opportunity, jobs, critical skills, and the ability to pursue their dreams.

“As summer begins, the ranks of all those frustrated by the lack of opportunities are joined by recent high school and college graduates whose enthusiasm to join the workforce has been slammed by the same harsh economic status quo their brothers and sisters have been experiencing for the past few years – one marked by record high unemployment, a patchwork of part-time jobs, or jobs outside their chosen profession.”

Conway’s observation is pretty dismal, but in my mind, it’s not nearly as bad as it was at the height of the recession, when I would get news releases from the government and groups like this pointing to unemployment twice as bad as this for young adults.

My three children, all in this age category, all are employed. Two are in retail close to minimum wage doing what they can to help as their dad and I as we send them through college, and one of those has an unpaid internship in her chosen field, psychology. The other is in a paid internship this summer in her chosen field, landscape architecture. None has had as hard a time finding work as a few years ago. So for my family, at least, there’s hope the next generation will find opportunity after college.

What has your experience been?

Rachel Pritchett

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