Youth unemployment at 16.1 percent

Raul Herrera/Contributing writer

Mariella Roque graduated spring 2013 with a bachelors of science in communications and political science, and is one of the 16 percent of youth finding employment to be difficult.

“I’ve had no luck,” said Roque. “With no internship it makes job finding much harder. A degree doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing.”

She said that her degree in communications did not prepare her well enough for a future job.

“I learned a lot of theory but almost no practical work,” said Roque.

Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan youth advocacy organization, recently released a Millennial Jobs Report for July 2013 that pointed to a 16.1% unemployment rate among 18-29 year olds.

While this data is non-seasonally adjusted, meaning that it does not take into account seasonal trends in employment, it presents what the organization sees as a problem for many university graduates.

The study also points out that only 43.6 percent of 18-28 year olds are employed full-time. One in six youths are out of work entirely.

However, some believe that this should not hold students back.

“Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes job seekers make is that they ‘assume’ that there are no jobs available, consequently many do not apply diligently for jobs,” said Darren Gregory, assistant director of FIU Career Services.

These statistics can often discourage the new grad, said Gregory.

The study also points out that many young adults have turned to temporary or part-time jobs to suit their needs.

The President of Generation Opportunity, Evan Feinberg, said that 18-29-year-olds are getting stuck in a cycle of part-time and temporary jobs, some of which are unrelated to their degree.

Roque is an example.

“I freelance, translating from German to English,” said Roque. “[It] pays badly, and I get very few assignments.”

Generation Opportunity’s study also indicated a 12.4 percent national unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics, and a 20.9 percent rate for African-Americans.

However, Gregory believes that this should not dishearten students.

“The reality out there right now for all students, regardless of race or ethnic background, is difficult,” said Gregory. “The vision of this University moving forward is that as we continue to develop, educate, and graduate a diverse and experienced student body, those numbers will continue to decline.”

According to Gregory, the latest graduation survey indicated that four weeks prior to graduation, 55 percent of FIU students are employed full-time in their field, and 21 percent are pursuing higher education.

The survey also captured students working part-time, military service and students not currently seeking employment.

Employment in the city of Miami, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has grown since last year, with a rate of job gain increase at 1.2%, compared to the national increase of 1.7% in that same time frame.

There are also ways to make oneself more likely to be employed, according to Roque and Gregory.

“Intern with a company as a student so that you can get hired right out of college,” said Roque.

Gregory agreed and also suggested utilizing University resources including Career Services, career fairs, professional development workshops, and student leadership groups and organizations.

Meanwhile, Roque has a plan.

“I might die a freelancer or I might look into other career options like corporate communications departments,” said Roque. “I’m open to everything at this point.”


1 Comment on "Youth unemployment at 16.1 percent"

  1. Wow, what an astonishing figure that one in six youths are out of work entirely. Young people have some of the highest unemployment rates, with the those between the ages of 18 and 29 clocking in at a 16.1 percent. Many new graduates simply do not feel prepared. Development programs are great, but youths need jobs or at least internships that will prepare them for the workforce! A great resource is They have over 19,000 summer internships and jobs.

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