The March jobs report is worse than we thought

By Jessica Adair

When it comes the economy, March was a record-breaker, but not in a good way. After twelve straight months of ridiculously powerful growth, to the tune of over 200,000 jobs added each month, the economy slowed significantly. Only 126,000 jobs were added in March, much lower than experts predicted.

Pundits, while disappointed with slower growth, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief that the unemployment rate did not increase.

Except it did — for Millennials.

After months of the unemployment rate falling among young adults, the Millennial unemployment rate actually increased. While the rate for all ages remained at 5.5 percent, the unemployment rate for workers aged 18 to 34 jumped from 7.5 to 7.8 percent.

jobs numbers - march 2015

Given today’s already tough economy for Millennials, this is disturbing news. The young adult unemployment rate has consistently been higher than the rate for adults overall, but the Great Recession was particularly bad for young workers.

In 2012, when the nation decried an unemployment rate over 8 percent, workers ages 16 to 24 years-old suffered from an unemployment rate of 16.5 percent. That did not account for young adults who went back to school, were forced to take part-time work despite looking for a full-time job or gave up looking altogether. Millions of jobs traditionally held by younger workers just vanished, another casualty of the Great Recession.

Job growth over the past few months slowly started to eat away at the youth unemployment crisis. It wasn’t all rosy news — young African-American and Latino workers routinely face higher unemployment rates than their white peers. But considering that young African-American workers faced an unemployment rate of over 30 percent in 2012, current rates signal improvement.

Unemployment rates, however, are only a small part of the overall economic picture. Wage growth increased in March by seven cents an hour, though the work week did shorten, effectively neutralizing wage gain.

Young adults are disproportionately in desperate need of wage growth. Wages have fallen by ten percent since the Great Recession for Millennials, yet by four percent for adults over the age of 35.

And the job sectors where young people are landing work today are the worst offenders when it comes to stagnating wages. Young adults aged 18 to 24 are far more likely to work in the service industry, such as leisure and hospitality or retail. In retail, for example, young adults are now making $2,000 less than workers in this industry ten years ago.

Just how, exactly, young adults are expected to afford soaring higher education costssave for retirement and make ends meet in this economy is unclear.

If this latest uptick in unemployment becomes a trend, lawmakers should do everything in their power to do what we know works when it comes to resolving unemployment. Investing more in paid apprenticeships, for example, directly targeted to unemployed young adults would help solve the immediate need for a job, while preventing future unemployment by providing job training.

In the meantime, here’s to hoping for a more prosperous April.

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Unemployment Rate for Millennials Increases, Despite Unchanged Rate for All Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 3, 2015
Unemployment Rate for Millennials Increases, Despite Unchanged Rate for All Adults
 
[WASHINGTON ]— As the national unemployment rate remains unchanged (5.5 percent in February and March) and the economy added 126,000 jobs, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds increased to 7.8 percent in March from 7.5 percent in February (seasonably adjusted).Among young black adults, the unemployment rate in March fell to 14.4 percent, compared to 14.6 percent in February. That’s still an unemployment rate, however, that’s more than twice as high as for young white adults. A Young Invincibles report finds that lawmakers can help narrow this divide by reinvesting in higher education and aligning it with today’s workforce.Here are more details on how different populations of young people fared relative to the overall workforce in March 2015:

jobs numbers - march 2015

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in March is 14.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 14.6 percent in February.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in March remained stagnant from February at 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for Asian-Pacific Islander young adults ages 18 to 34 in March is 4.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 5 percent in February.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 remained at 6.7 percent in March  (not seasonally adjusted), just as it was in February.

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Unemployment Rate for Black Millennials Continues Uptick, Despite Broader Job Gains

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 6, 2015
 
Contacts: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org214.223.2913

 
Unemployment Rate for Black Millennials Up for Third Straight Month, Despite Broader Job Gains

[WASHINGTON]—As the national unemployment rate rose slightly from 5.6 in December to 5.7 percent in January and the economy added 257,000 jobs, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds fell slightly to 7.8 percent in January from 7.9 percent in December (seasonably adjusted).

Black young adults still face an unemployment rate that’s more than two and a half times higher than their white peers, 15.5 percent compared to 5.7 percent, respectively. To help close this divide, Congress should pass many of the important job training investments President Obama called for in his budget, including expanding apprenticeships and connecting unemployed young people who are not in school to education and the workforce.

Here are more details on how different populations of young people fared relative to the overall workforce in January 2015:

Jan Chart

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in January is 15.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 14.8 percent in December.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in January is 9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 7.8 percent in December.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in January is 7.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 5.6 percent in December.

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Overall Unemployment Rate Drops For Millennials, But Rises For African Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 9, 2014
Contact: Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org585.746.8281

[WASHINGTON]— As the national unemployment rate fell slightly from 5.8 percent in November to 5.6 percent in December and the economy added 252,000 jobs in December, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds dipped slightly to 7.9 percent in December from 8.3 percent in November (seasonably adjusted). However, the gap between the unemployment rate for white young adults and black young adults widened.

Black young adults face an unemployment rate that’s more than two and a half times higher than their white peers, 14.8 percent compared to 5.6 percent, respectively. We’d like to see the next Congress pass policies to change this. As our recent report – The Future of Millennial Jobs – showed, job training and higher education will be even more essential in the years ahead to better prepare all Millennials for the job market.

Here is more information on how different populations of young adults fared relative to the overall workforce in December 2014.

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in December is 14.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 14.6 percent in November.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in December is 7.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 8.0 percent in November.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in December is 5.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 6.3 percent in November.

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New Report: The Unemployment Rate Is Dropping For Millennials, But So Are Career Prospects and Salaries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 4, 2014

CONTACTS:
Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org 202–734-6529
Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org 214-223-2913

Washington, D.C. – Young Invincibles has released a new report, titled Where Young Adults Work, that takes an unprecedented look at labor force and wage trends and their impact on Millennials. The report provides a provocative snapshot of promising job sectors for young adults to embrace and shrinking industries to avoid, and also examines job sector value for Millennials by geography.

The report finds that young adults, ages 25 to 34 years-old, are landing jobs in low-wage industries traditionally held by younger Millennials.

“Despite the unemployment rate dropping, our report finds too many Millennials are struggling in low-wage sectors that may not set them up for careers that provide financial security. With Millennials expected to make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, legislators must work to align our higher education system with new demands in the workforce,” according to report authors Tom Allison and Konrad Mugglestone.

The report includes maps and charts — in addition to quantitative analysis — that comes from the U.S. Census’s 2014 Current Population Survey. Please be in touch if you would like to speak with a report author. We are happy to provide data sets, along with discussing our findings.

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Racial Disparities in Millennial Unemployment Rate Widen Despite Improved Overall Rate for Young Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 7, 2014

Contact: Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org, 585.746.8281

[WASHINGTON]— As the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.8 percent and the economy added 214,000 jobs in October, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds dipped slightly to 8.2 percent from 8.6 percent in September (seasonably adjusted). However, the gap between the unemployment rate for white young adults and black young adults widened.

Black young adults face an unemployment rate that’s more than twice as high as their white peers, 15.8 percent compared to 6.5 percent, respectively. We’d like to see the next Congress pass policies that could change this. As our recent report – Closing the Race Gap – showed, there are several policies that could help narrow these disparities.

For older Millennial workers, aged 25 to 34, the employment-population ratio — or the percent of the age group with jobs — increased to 76.2 percent, its highest level since December 2008.

October chart

Here is more information on how different populations of young adults fared relative to the overall workforce in October 2014.

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in October is 15.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 16.2 percent in September.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 8.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 8.8 percent in September.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 6.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 7.2 percent in September.

Please be in touch if you would like to speak with one of our Millennial policy experts.

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Jobs Report Shows Racial Disparities in Job Market Persist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 3, 2014

CONTACT:
Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org 202–734-6529
Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org 214-223-2913

“We know that young African Americans get more value from education in terms of improved job prospects, so we must expand educational opportunities for young African Americans”

[WASHINGTON] – Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“While today’s unemployment rate of 6.1% is welcome news for the economy, when you break down the jobs numbers, it’s clear young adults are significantly struggling to enter the job market. Young adults, aged 18 to 34, fared far worse with an unemployment rate of 9% and the disparities by race are even more appalling.

Young African Americans, aged 18 to 34, face an unemployment rate that’s more than twice the rate of their white peers: 16.7% to 7.6%, respectively. We know that young African Americans get more value from education in terms of improved job prospects, so we must expand educational opportunities for young African Americans; bolstering the Pell Grant would be a good first step.”

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Employment Gains Continue to Bypass Minority Youth, Despite Improved Youth Unemployment Rate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 2, 2014

Contact: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org214.223.2913

Employment Gains Continue to Bypass Minority Youth, Despite Improved Youth Unemployment Rate

1 in 5 Young Black Workers Continue to Be Unemployed

[WASHINGTON]— As the national unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent and the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-olds declined to 9.1 percent from 10.9 percent in March (not seasonably adjusted). For younger workers, ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate also fell slightly to 12.8 percent from 14.5 percent in March (seasonally adjusted).

“We know that education and job training are the keys to bringing down young adult unemployment rates, as workers with a post-secondary credential have higher job placement rates than high school graduates,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Deputy Director at Young Invincibles. “To help close the minority youth unemployment gap, Congress should take the Pell Grant off the chopping block, make the aid permanent, and invest in job training for our generation. These solutions connect minority youth to the workforce and are a smart investment for all American taxpayers.”

‪According to TICAS, more than 60 percent of African-American ‪undergraduates and half of Hispanic undergraduates rely on Pell Grants to attend school. Earlier this year, Young Invincibles released In This Together, a new report quantifying the losses realized by federal and state taxpayers due to high young adult unemployment .

Here is more information on how different populations of young people fared in April 2014:

• The unemployment rate for Black young adults ages 16 to 24 in April is 21.4 percent compared to 23.6 percent last month (not seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young Latinos ages 16 to 24 in April is 11.6 percent – it was 13.8 percent last month (not seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young men ages 16 to 24 in April is 14.3 percent compared to 16 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).

• The unemployment rate for young women ages 16 to 24 in April is 11.2 percent compared to 12.9 percent last month (seasonally adjusted).

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Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo. Follow us on Twitter at @YI_Care.

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College grads in Volusia, Flagler face challenges parents never did

Daytona Beach Journal-News

By: Lacey McLaughlin

Sharlatay Willis printed out a stack of resumes and hopped on her bike for another day of job searching. Taking care to prevent her gray dress slacks from getting tangled in her bike chain, the 23-year-old Bethune-Cookman University graduate peddled to a strip mall on Nova Road.

Willis introduced herself and handed her resume to managers at Family Dollar, Save-a-Lot, Burlington Coat Factory and Steak n’ Shake, but they all directed her to apply online where she worries her application will fall into a black hole.

The English major graduated in December with hopes of landing a job as a magazine writer or writing coach for students. But after months of dead ends and no reliable income, Willis said she would be happy to land a part-time service job.

“It gets kind of frustrating because I spent four years working so hard for a college degree and here I am struggling to find a retail job,” said Willis, who has $30,000 in student loans. “I wanted that dream job right out of college. I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.”

Lingering unemployment and student loan debt are creating additional worries for college graduates who are entering a job market that has fewer opportunities than previous generations. An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York two years ago showed 44 percent of recent college graduates — age 22 to 27 — were working in jobs that did not require degrees.

While jobs reports point to a modest recovery and news of new development locally is encouraging, real wages remain stagnant and good jobs are hard to find. Investing in a college degree has traditionally led to higher long-term economic benefits, but the current economic climate raises questions about the financial future of millennials, especially for those like Willis who have degrees in low-demand majors, such as liberal arts and social sciences.

“There is an across-the-board issue here that has led graduates to take positions below what they are qualified for,” said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida. “Every year that you are working a retail job and not in a degree-related field is a year of experience and human capital that you can’t get back.”

Georgia native Jana Lott moved to Daytona Beach with her college roommate after graduating from St. Leo University on Florida’s west coast with a professional writing degree last May. She aspires to work for a publishing company, but after months of job searching she felt relieved when Kmart hired her for a cashier’s position in October.

Realizing that her 20-hour-a-week job won’t be enough to pay off $125,000 in student loans and cover her living expenses, the 23-year-old moved back home with her mother in Jacksonville when her lease ended this month. Lott said she had been applying for about 20 career-related jobs each week but has taken a break because she feels burned out.

“By the time I am 27, I hope to be working in my career field,” Lott said. “I have never looked at what I should be making. Money isn’t a huge factor to me. I just want to do something I enjoy.”

Research indicates that young adults like Lott may never financially catch up to college graduates who started their careers shortly after graduation.

A new report by the Young Invincibles, a post-recession youth advocacy group, predicts that each jobless worker age 18 to 24 accounts for $4,100 a year in forgone tax revenue and social benefits.

Young Invincibles Policy and Research Manager Tom Allison, who co-authored the report “No End in Sight? The Long-Term Youth Jobs Gap and What it Means for America,” said that the shrinking of middle-class jobs and the burden of student loans create economic barriers for many recent graduates. His organization is pushing for the U.S. Department of Education to release data that tracks college graduates and majors to show who’s getting hired and their starting salaries, in addition to pushing for legislation that would reduce college tuition rates.

“There is a national debate over whether a college degree is working or not,” Allis said. “On average, it completely is. You can expect a million dollars more in life-term earnings with a degree. But there needs to be a shift with transparency and accountability. There needs to be more of a demand from consumers to get a better idea of what the value of a degree is.”

Milestones like becoming a homeowner or reaching retirement are far from Lott’s current worries. She believes the right job is out there and it’s just a matter of time before she finds it.

“I have a lot of friends who get pressure from their parents to just take any job they can find,” Lott said. “I think some people get pushed into jobs they don’t want, and I’m not just going to take a job to get a paycheck.”

Willis, who is from Miami, started looking for jobs in November but said she seldom received a response from publications or schools. When her 20-hour-a-week job on campus ended upon graduation, Willis started looking for any job that would provide a steady income.

“I want to stay in Daytona and find a job. Back at home there’s a lot of trouble that I don’t want to get into and the area is bad when it comes to crime,” Willis said. “Once I get set financially, I hope to go further north and move to a bigger city.”

When she was younger, Willis said her parents pushed her to do well in school and go to college. Her mother, a school bus driver, and father, a car mechanic, told their daughter they wanted her to have more opportunities than they had.

Now Willis has $30,000 in student loans and is struggling to find an opportunity as good as her parents had. She said she is considering going to graduate school if she is unable to find a job in her field by next year but worries about piling up more debt.

Graduates with social science and liberal arts degrees are faring worse in this economy, but the job market has become more competitive as graduates face higher demands from employers, Snaith at UCF said.

In 2010, the national unemployment rate for recent college graduates was about 5 percent and that rate has now climbed to 7 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank study, however, points out that those with college degrees that provide technical training are more likely to be working in their field. For example, 75 percent of those with an engineering degree are working in a job that requires a college degree. The two majors with the lowest unemployment rates are health and education majors.

Willis supports herself through baby-sitting jobs and splits her meager living expenses with roommates. With her bike as her only form of transportation, she cycles to Bethune-Cookman’s campus in Daytona Beach from her Port Orange apartment during the week. On campus, she conducts online job searches and mentors students at the university’s writing center. She also bikes to retail stores along her route to pass out her resume and inquire about jobs.

Her search took a big setback recently when her cellphone fell out of her pocket on the ride home and was never recovered. With no money to replace the phone, Willis found an app that allows her to receive calls and text messages on a tablet, but she is often unable to receive voicemails and the reception is spotty. A missed call could be a missed opportunity.

“Either I am under-qualified for a lot of these jobs or I’m overqualified,” Willis said. “I think there are a lot of different aspects that aren’t giving me the opportunity I want. I feel like I have put a lot of work to get to where I am at and I’m going to have to keep putting in work.”

Willis still hasn’t gone on an interview despite applying for more than a dozen jobs. She is saving her baby-sitting money to pay $150 for a temporary teaching certificate so she can be eligible to work with students at local schools. As she continues to search for service jobs, Willis said she often worries about living so close to the edge. She can’t afford health insurance and receives food stamps to buy groceries. While she is optimistic about her future, the lack of responses from employers is starting to take its toll.

“It’s starting to feel draining because I’m not getting any responses,” she said. “It gets frustrating but I’m still pushing forward.”

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Mishory: We need solutions that invest in young people

CBS News

By: Stephanie Condon

The Labor Department on Friday reported a solid 192,000 jobs were added to the economy in March. The uptick in jobs was generally good news, but the Republican National Committee spotlighted one group still lagging: young adults.

While the overall unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 percent, the unemployment rate for 20-24 year-olds increased from 11.9 percent to in February to 12.2 percent in March. For workers ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate rose marginally to from 14.4 percent in February 14.5 percent.

“Young people propelled Obama to office, but have not seen any benefits from his agenda,” Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams said in a statement. “The latest youth unemployment figures show how Obama’s policies of higher taxes, increased regulations and, most importantly, ObamaCare have stunted Millennials economic opportunity.”

The left-leaning group Young Invincibles said the proposals put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would only exacerbate the problem.

“Young adults continue to face unemployment rates twice the national average, so cuts like those proposed in the House Budget Committee’s FY2015 budget undermine our generation’s chance at getting a job and climbing the ladder of economic mobility,” Jen Mishory, the group’s deputy director, said in a statement. “We need solutions that invest in young people and connect them to the workforce, like increasing apprenticeships and an expansion of AmeriCorps.”

President Obama last specifically addressed youth unemployment in the context of the European economy, during a press conference last month in Rome with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

“One of the tragedies of high youth unemployment is that when young people don’t have a strong attachment to the labor market early, that can continue for the rest of their careers and they never fully recoup what’s lost in terms of their potential earnings and their ability to advance in the labor market,” Mr. Obama said.

With respect to the Labor Department’s latest report, White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Friday called it “pretty encouraging.” Since the recession started at the outset of the Obama administration, the nation has made “a ton of progress,” he said, adding that “we’re not going to rest on our laurels.”

“There is so much work that needs to be done to expand economic opportunity for everybody,” Earnest said.

Democrats in Congress used the report to push their economic and political agenda, which focuses on pocketbook issues like raising the minimum wage.

“This continued job growth is encouraging, but we need to do more to ensure that everyone in Nevada and across the country has a fair shot at the American Dream,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. “My Republican colleagues have a choice: will they join Democrats to stand with the middle class, or will they continue to stand with the Koch brothers as they try to rig our political system to benefit billionaires like themselves?”

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