Unemployment Hitting Twenty-Somethings Especially Hard

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Unemployment numbers show people in their twenties may be having the most difficult time finding jobs and after growing up in a time of plenty, counselors say they may also have a harder time dealing.

Counselors say it's an age group that doesn't get a lot of attention but twenty–somethings may be getting hit just as hard if not harder with the difficulties of the recession.

Generation "Y" is graduating college to find there may not be a job out there for them as unemployment rates for the age group continue to soar.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate is 8.1 percent but the unemployment rate for people ages 20 to 24 is almost 13 percent.

Labor analysts say companies used to lay off older workers because of higher salaries but now they're putting more of a focus on experience. That's leaving younger workers with less of a history on the chopping block.

Hollis Howery is studying to pass some of her last classes at Mesa State College but her excitement about graduating is clouded with worry.

"It's a little scary honestly. It's your future and you're kind of wondering if you're going to have one," Howery told 11 News on Monday.

The Physical Therapy major is hoping there will be a job after years of work and lots of loans.

"Oh I've gone through tons of work and it that didn't pay off, that would be kind of disappointing."

Howery says if she can't climb a career ladder, she might have to climb onto her parents couch.

A not so appealing option for many twenty–somethings who can't find a job and one that counselor Carmen Hickman is seeing more and more. She says it's a very bitter pill for many to swallow.

"If you have a job and then for some reason you're notified you're no longer needed, that's pretty devastating," Hickman told 11 News at the Counseling and Education Center on Patterson Road.

Hickman says it's especially tough for a generation who may not have had to deal with financial hardship before and have been raised to believe they can do or be anything.

"They want it perfect. They want the perfect job, the perfect apartment," the counselor told 11 News on Monday.

And when that doesn't happen, she says it often turns into depression anxiety and stress.

She says finding the silver lining though can be an important part of moving on.

"It's like a storm and we're all gonna get through this."

Hollis Howery is hoping her job search will be nothing but blue skies.

"That would be ideal of course to be working right away," said Howery.

Until then she'll be hitting the books and studying hard for final tests she hopes will pay off.

Counselors say if you can't deal with the feelings of depression, anxiety and stress over financial issues with family support you should seek professional help.

They say treatment can help you cope with those feelings and get back in good health so you can get back to job hunting.

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