A new report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee shows that younger, would-be workers are bearing the heaviest burden in this recession.
That's especially true if you are under 18 or African-American:
- • One-in-five young workers is unemployed — the highest rate of unemployment ever recorded for
this age group.
- • Young workers make up a disproportionate share of the unemployed. They comprise 13 percent
of the labor force, but make up 26 percent of the unemployed.
- • The youngest workers (16 to17 years) experience the highest rates of unemployment. The
unemployment rate for 16 to 17 year olds was 29 percent in April.
- • Greater educational attainment reduces the likelihood of being unemployed. College graduates
experience the lowest unemployment rate (8.0 percent in April), while those without a high
school diploma have the highest unemployment rate (33.0 percent).
- • The benefits of a college degree are not uniform among 16 to 24 year olds. The unemployment
rate for young black college graduates was 15.8 percent in April, nearly double the 8.0 percent
unemployment rate for all young college graduates.
According to the report, younger workers (ages 16-24) have always suffered higher unemployment than their "prime age" workers (25-54), usually coming in at about 13 percent — twice the rate of prime age workers. But 20 percent is abysmal.
If you're young and you've tried to find a job, you know all about it: even service industry jobs are way harder to come by because older adults who've lost their jobs are favored over young, inexperienced workers.
And even if you haven't experienced this yourself, I bet you've noticed a lot of middle-aged people working the late night drive-thru who wouldn't have been there before.
Hat tip to Business Insider for the find. Go here to see a great chart on the BI page illustrating the unemployment rate disparities.