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Roller Coaster…of Jobs

By Brian Burrell

The U.S. economy has been an emotional roller coaster for young people over the past few years.  For a while there, the employment rate would fall, do a fast loop around and rise up disappointingly … and then fall further and give everyone hope.   Lately, however, things have been looking better.  November’s employment numbers indicate positive trends for both the nation at large and young Americans. The Labor Department reported that the economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the national unemployment dropped to 7.7%.  The unemployment rate for young Americans (ages 18 to 29) fell nearly a full percentage point from 12.2% in October to 11.3% in November.  The positive trend even carried into the youngest portion of the U.S. workforce.

  • Unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds fell from 16% in October to 15.6% in November (Please note this number is more than double the national average).
  • Latinos in this age group showed encouraging signs of job growth as their unemployment dropped from 17% to 16.4%.
  • African-Americans in this same age group saw unemployment drop from 27.6% in October to 25.4% in November.

So, maybe this emotional ride is at least beginning to smooth out?

Not So Fast My Friend

In true 2012 fashion, there are “downs” accompanying these “ups.”  Although there was a net increase of 146,000 jobs in November, older young adults ages 25 to 29 lost an estimated 45,000 jobs.

Moral of the story? Times have been tough, and even as we’ve seen improvement, people are still struggling – especially young people.  Let’s hope this roller coaster brings us back to ground level some time soon.

As the year draws to a close, keep up with the latest developments in regards to youth unemployment and job prospects with Young Invincibles.

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