A Trapped Generation

College Graduates Youth Unemployment Underemployment

At the recent WEF conference in Davos, Arianna Huffington told CNN Money that in her opinion the biggest ignored crisis is youth unemployment.

Latest stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show how impaired the youth age group remains. Graphed below is the overall US unemployment rate (blue) along side the age 20-24 group unemployment rate (red). Youth unemployment has tracked relatively higher on average, even preceding the recession, but the longterm implications of maintaining current levels amongst this demographic pose severe risks to everyone. The differences are even more drastic when considering total (age 16-24) youth unemployment.

Youth Unemployment Crisis

Another consideration needs to be given to the fact that many in this age group find themselves working positions that don’t require anywhere near the skills or ability held. With limited job opportunities as many older age workers remain in the market, youth are forced to take positions to make ends meet. Research has proven that starting a career underemployed greatly limits growth potential and overall lifetime wages, slowing the country’s recovery and long-term productivity.

As graduates continue to enter the workforce and unemployed/underemployed effects compound with each passing quarter, the time has come to discuss how we can avert future loss.

[Photo: ChetGordon/Flickr]