Return to the Latest

Editorial: Unemployment for young adults twice the national average

The Advocate on May 23, 2013

In a day and age where young adults are presented with what seems like endless possibilities, a recent study paints a bleak picture of the reality and extreme likelihood of unemployment.

According to a study by, the unemployment rate in Oregon for 16 to 24-year-olds is at an extremely high 17.8 percent. This is more than double the overall state unemployment rate, reported at 8.2 percent through March. Young Invincibles, who recently released this information, is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans and shining the light on issues important to them.

Clearly, young adults in Oregon are struggling to find work. If they do find employment, it’s more than likely part time, a phenomenon only partly explained by high school or college enrollment. According to the study, only 55 percent of young people who have a job are working full time, which is down from 66 percent in 2005.

The Advocate sees unemployment as an obstacle that should be curbed and improved, so we would like to present some points that may help students at Mt. Hood increase their chances of landing that summer job, or any job in general.

While some of the following points may seem like mere common sense, some individuals may be clueless in the job department, so we figured these should be mentioned, regardless.

–Patience is important. Even if you don’t get the first job, apply again and again, and eventually you will find yourself a member of the workforce.

–Start looking now, before all the jobs are taken. If you wait until July, chances are much lower and you already wasted a good portion of your summer.

–Take a job even if it’s seasonal, because it could lead to a steady job. Plus, a seasonal job may be your best option since there are more jobs available and you have a better chance of scoring one. Also, if you want to turn that summer job into a year-round position, don’t be afraid to be an overachiever. Be dependable, volunteer for shifts even on your day off, and don’t be afraid to share new ideas.

–Make friends with the employees. A friend is more likely to vouch for you and put in a good word with the boss.

–Dress to impress. Business casual is the way to go. If you make a good first impression based on your appearance, it takes some pressure off.

–Check out the Career Planning and Counseling Center here at Mt. Hood. It offers one-on-one help with resumé, cover letters and practice interviews.

–Go to as many interviews as you can. This will be helpful in the future, when you are applying for your dream job. Plus, many interviewers will ask the same questions, so it’s an opportunity to fine tune-your answers.

–Follow up. You should call, go in, whatever it takes. Prove you want the job, and you are doing something about it.

Finding and maintaining a job at a young age can have a huge impact on job prospects later on in life. Not only does it prove you are stable and dependable, but it’s a chance to build up references and have a striking resumé.

Follow The Advocate’s advice and you’ll have a summer job in no time.