Unfortunately, the labor market for young workers still seems to be less than ideal. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute, shows that while progress has been made in the economy, recent graduates still face tough times when looking for employment.
For young college graduates, the unemployment rate currently sits at 5.6%. For professionals who are under the age of 25, the unemployment rate is at 10.5%, which is more than double the national average at 4.9%.
To no surprise, the economy is even worse for young professionals of color. Young black college graduates currently have an unemployment rate of 9.4%, which is higher than the peak unemployment rate for white college graduates during the recession.
With young professionals having little to no work experience before entering school, they are also rarely eligible to participate in federal and state assistance programs that help the unemployed make ends meet. For example, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has minimum work requirements and is only available to individuals with children, which excludes many young graduates.
Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010 under the Obama administration, has expanded to allow young adults under the age of 26 to remain on their parent’s employer-sponsored health insurance policy. However, young adults whose parents do not have health insurance through their job are unable to take advantage of this program.
Due a tough job market and little to no assistance with benefits, young professionals are also living at home longer. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report that compared young adults today with previous generations, 30.3% of millennials still live at home with their parents, compared to 20.3% in 2000.
With the rise of tuition and student loan debt averaging a little over $35,000 for college graduates, difficulty in finding employment not only delays the progress of millennials living independently, it also affects their ability to build future wealth and save for retirement.
Are you a young person who’s having a hard time finding employment? Share with us your experience below and be sure to check out our career advice section for tips during your job hunt.