Archive for Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tight job market squeezing out young workers

Nearly 1.3 million 16- to 24-year-olds have left work force since start of Great Recession

March 28, 2010


— Teens and young adults, short on experience and skills, have been giving up the job search at higher rates than other workers are during this great recession.

Frustrated by a lean job market, nearly 1.3 million workers ages 16 to 24 have left the labor force since the recession hit in December 2007. That’s about 6 percent of them, and it’s nearly 3 1/2 times the exodus rate of workers ages 25 to 54.

With a jobless rate of 18.5 percent for 16- to 24-year-olds, some have gone back to school, some are volunteering, some are joining the military and some are just chilling at home until the economy heats up again.

It’s anybody’s guess when that will happen. Many experts predict that the economy will begin adding jobs this month, after employers cut only 18,000 jobs in February. Unfortunately, much of the new job growth is in temporary workers, while permanent hiring continues to lag.

Don’t expect much relief from the summer hiring season, either. A new survey of hiring managers by the hourly job Web site found that seasonal hiring will be at roughly the same depressed levels as it was last year for teens and college students.

“Given the year that we’ve had, ‘unchanged’ on the summer job front is pretty good news,” said Shawn Boyer, the CEO of

Not for young people who are trying to kick-start their careers, move out on their own or pay for school. They’re being squeezed out of jobs in favor of older, more experienced workers, including those 55 and older.

In fact, the number of workers 55 and older has increased by 9 percent, or 2.5 million people, since the recession began.

“That’s quite an astonishing rise,” said economist Dean Baker, a co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a nonpartisan economic and social research center in Washington.

Some of these seasoned employees are returning to work because of job losses by spouses or the financial problems of other family members. Others are working longer to recoup retirement savings that were lost in the economic downturn.

Their increased presence and the scarcity of new jobs have made it hard for young people to find work. Twenty-nine percent of the hiring managers that SnagAJob surveyed said that older workers would be their younger colleagues’ biggest competition for summer jobs.

As a result, only 55 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds are working or even looking for work, compared with 59.1 percent when the recession started. Baker said Congress should fund a national youth jobs program that was even larger than the summer youth jobs programs funded by the economic stimulus.

Tom Mroz, an economics professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, said his research had found that six months of unemployment for young workers would depress their earnings by about 2 percent over the course of 10 years. They’ll also be more likely to be unemployed again.

With youth jobless rates approaching 40 percent in some areas, the unemployment situation for teens and young adults is at a crisis level, Baker said.

“I think it’s incredible that this hasn’t been talked about more seriously,” Baker said. “We’ve got people coming out of school, and there’s nothing there for them. What are they going to do, sit around and hang out in the street for two or three years, however long it takes for the economy to recover? Because no one thinks it’s going to recover quickly.”


Sunny Parker 8 years, 2 months ago

Its sad that Obomba is not living up to his promises. He promised that the unemployment rate would not drop!

Now we have construction workers applying for $8 an hour jobs only to get by.

Very sad!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Think about it. In the past 30 years the repub party has been in involved two major home loan scandals that effectively took the USA economy down the tubes. One is too damn many but twice represents repub economic policy. Wreckanomics is a failed economic policy. In fact wreckanomics is beginning to smell like well planned crimes.

The republican party have become masters at putting millions upon millions upon millions of people out of work. AND stealing taxpayers retirement plans along the way.

What Repubs do with a remarkable degree of consistency is wreck the economy,initiate huge movements of shipping jobs abroad aka the Reagan-Bush Global Economy and try to wreck social security and medicare.

Is there a definite pattern? Absolutely!

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal

  3. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the bail out money?

  4. Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion and wreck the economy)

  5. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts

  6. The "tea parties" BTW are part of the wreckanomics program funded by the Koch Brothers... well known oil billionaires. These thinkers back a tax payers bill of rights which is another scheme to reward the upper 1% which is designed to wreck local and state governments.

All of the above displays reckless economic behavior that which drains the cookie jars.

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