Youth Unemployment Hits Record High

The next generation of workers is getting off to a tough start.

A new report found that unemployment among 15-24 year olds worldwide reached 13% last year, a record high. According to the report, put together by the International Labour Organization, of the 620 million young people in the global workforce, 81 million were unemployed.

By comparison, the organization found that the unemployment rate among this age group was 11.9% in 2007, meaning there were 7.8 million more young people employed that year than in 2009.

Unfortunately, the organization predicts that the global youth unemployment rate will only continue to increase in 2010 before it begins to decline slightly in 2011. “The unemployment rates of youth have proven to be more sensitive to the crisis than the rates of adults and that the recovery of the job market for young men and women is likely to lag behind that of adults,” the organization said in a press release.

In the U.S., the unemployment rate for young people is equally bleak. According to job numbers from July, more than a quarter of the teens in this country are currently unemployed. This is due partly to the fact that teens are competing with older Americans for entry-level and part-time jobs.

Still, there is some hope. Another report earlier this year found that college students graduating this year are finding more jobs available to them than graduates from the class of 2009.

However, as Jeff Brown pointed out in a recent MainStreet piece, it’s important for graduates to recognize the need to be more flexible in their job hunt as the labor market continues to be volatile — and extremely competitive. “You have to go where the jobs are, even if that means you don’t live exactly where you want to," he wrote. "Lifestyle has to take a backseat to work until you’ve advanced enough to pick and choose.”

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