July Jobs Numbers Make Case for Improving Apprenticeship Programs

By Tom Allison

While the national unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in July, the rate for young adults ages 18-to-34 rose slightly to 6.9 percent (seasonably adjusted) from 6.8 percent in June. Notably, sectors with high prevalence of apprenticeships saw significant job growth. Those sectors include:

  • The construction industry added 14,000 new jobs in July, including 9,400 specialty trade contracting jobs.
  • Nearly 50,000 new jobs were created in health care and social assistance, including 17,000 new hospital jobs and over 5,000 in social assistance.
  • There were also 11,000 new jobs in durable good manufacturing (all estimates seasonably adjusted).

Among the other unadjusted unemployment estimates, we see that young people of color continue to struggle to find a job despite the fact that our national unemployment rate has fallen by more than half since the depths of the recession:

  • Young Latinos: 7.5 percent
  • Young Asian or Pacific Islanders: 6.0 percent
  • Young African Americans 12.2 percent

jobs july

 

Last week’s jobs report coincides with Young Invincibles’ release of a new report on apprenticeships, debunking myths about the program and making suggestions for improving the system. The job growth in sectors key for apprenticeships reinforces our recommendations to improve our apprenticeship system. Conducted in the Chicagoland area where young people face some of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the study highlights three key misconceptions that Millennials hold about apprenticeships: that apprenticeship programs don’t currently exist in their communities, that apprenticeships don’t pay, and that participating in an apprenticeship means never receiving a college degree.

Based on these misconceptions about apprenticeships, as well as stated job preferences among Millennials, we advance six recommendations for building and branding youth-friendly apprenticeship programs.

When it comes to program structure, we recommend expanding pre-apprenticeship and job shadowing opportunities, creating more apprenticeships that provide the option to receive college credentials, and starting apprentices in cohorts. On the marketing side, we suggest being more explicit about wages, building innovative social media marketing strategies, and using near-peers as ambassadors.  Doing so will both build a broader base of Millennial support for these programs and ensure that those opportunities fit the needs of today’s young people.

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Learning To Work In Texas

Young workers make up a significant part of the Texas workforce, 39.7 percent of which is comprised of people between the ages of 16 to 34 years old. The state’s economic prospects rest on this generation’s ability to secure good jobs and to support themselves and their families. However, young people today are less likely to earn as much as previous generations, face skyrocketing higher education costs, and have dim prospects of social mobility as a result.

Recognizing this, Young Invincibles launched the Texas Jobs Tour in 2015, a statewide listening tour that reached over 250 young adults in Texas, learning from their experiences confronting a workforce that is increasingly challenging to break into and to excel in. Guided by these conversations, and existing data around youth unemployment challenges both across Texas and locally in Houston, we detail an agenda for Houston and state policymakers that would build upon current initiatives to open up jobs and economic opportunity. To improve job search skills and connections to the job market, the state of Texas must strengthen high school advising programs and improve access to information about career outcomes at Texas Colleges. Local and state policymakers must also expand early work experience opportunities for young Texans.

Please see our report, Learning to Work in Texas, for details on the policy agenda.

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Invest In Higher Ed and Work to Narrow Racial Employment Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 6, 2015

Contacts: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org, 214.223.2913

Invest in Higher Education and Work to Narrow Racial Employment Gap

[WASHINGTON]—As the national unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent in January to 5.5 percent in February and the economy added 295,000 jobs, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds fell to 7.5 percent in February from 7.8 percent in January (seasonably adjusted).

While we have seen a steady increase in employment over the last year, black young adults still face an unemployment rate that’s more than two times as great as their young white peers – 14.6 percent compared to 6.7 percent, respectively. A Young Invincibles report released last year finds that lawmakers can help narrow this divide by investing in higher education and making college more accessible.

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

Feb Chart Jpeg

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in February is 14.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 15.5 percent in January.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in February is 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 9 percent in January.

• The unemployment rate for Asian-Pacific Islander young adults ages 18 to 34 in February is 5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 6 percent in January.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in February is 6.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 7.1 percent in January.

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Huffington Post: Blog: Youth Employment: A Pathway to Economic Growth and Better Lives

By Stacey D. Stewart

“This week’s State of the Union address underscored the critical link between a strong economy and a good education. I was especially glad to hear the president’s call for employers to follow the lead of United Way’s partner, UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships.” Read more here.

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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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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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KUOW Seattle: How Youth Unemployment Could Drag Down Our Future Economy

YI’s Policy and Research Manager Tom Allison spoke with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds about youth unemployment in the United States. Listen below:

 

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Global Post: President Obama: America’s Millennials Not Really a ‘Lost Generation’

By Jessica Mendoza

“President Barack Obama is offering a new commitment to American millennials, but with youth unemployment and student debt levels still oppressively high, the country’s largest generation has withdrawn some of its once-fervent support for him.” Read more here.

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Yahoo Finance: Why the White House is Wooing Millennials

By Rick Newman

“The White House just published a paper highlighting “15 economic facts about millennials.” The report doesn’t reveal much we don’t already know about millennials, but it does pull together the whole range of challenges they face in one concise summary: There aren’t enough good jobs for young workers. Student debt is out of control. A weak economy is forcing millennials to delay many important life decisions, such as buying a home, getting married and having kids.” Read more here and watch Young Invincibles’ Executive Director Jen Mishory speaking with Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman below:

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September 2014: Millennial Unemployment Is Almost 50% Higher Than the National Average

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 3, 2014

Contacts: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org214.223.2913; Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org585.746.8281

Millennial Unemployment Rate Is Nearly 50 Percent Higher Than the National Average

[WASHINGTON]— As the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.9 percent and the economy added 248,000 jobs in September, the unemployment rate for 18 to 34 year-olds dipped slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent in August (not seasonably adjusted). Here is more information on how different populations of young adults fared relative to the overall workforce in September 2014.

Sept Jobs

• The unemployment rate for Black/African American young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 16.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 17.8 in August.

• The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latino young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), down from 9.2 percent in August.

• The unemployment rate for white young adults ages 18 to 34 in September is 7.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), up from 7.1 percent in August.

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