Youth Unemployment: What Can We Do About It?

5 min read
jobless man desperately seeking for employment

Every year, millions of new graduates find it difficult to find work. The brightest of minds struggle facing the reality that employers are looking for job applicants with competitive edge among a sea of entry-level applicants. Clearly, the real battle starts after graduation, when the realization of youth unemployment kicks in.

Youth unemployment is becoming a major concern in today’s fast-paced and competitive work market. Globally, this issue hinders young people’s career opportunities and impedes their hopes for a safe and satisfying future. This, in turn, has necessitated urgent attention as the world economy develops to create equitable opportunities and a welcoming community for all young professionals.

Let’s take a closer look into youth unemployment, the current statistics, key factors that cause it, and the possible and workable courses of action for the unemployed youth to take. Let’s dive in.

US Youth Unemployment Rate in 2024

As stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the youth unemployment rate in the US rose from 7.30% in January 2024 to 8.80% in February. Between 1948 and 2024, the youth unemployment rate in the US averaged 11.63%, with a record-low 4.80% in May of 1951, and a peak of 28.50% in April 2020 right in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.

young job seekers patiently wait in line
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Key Factors Contributing to Youth Unemployment

There are key factors behind youth unemployment that demand consideration. Below are three of the most pressing:

Employer’s Perception of Lack of Experience Among Young Applicants

One of the main reasons young people remain unemployed is that employers often overlook young professionals in favor of those they deem more experienced. Many companies are reluctant to invest in young talent and instead choose candidates with a proven track record. Young job seekers may find this propensity frustrating, as it lessens their chances of gaining essential skills and crucial first-hand work experience.

Having Trouble Finding the Perfect Fit for Younger Job Hopefuls

The challenge faced by employers in finding qualified candidates for available positions is another factor that contributes to the high rate of youth unemployment. Even though young professionals are well-qualified, it can be difficult to discover candidates whose profiles perfectly match employment criteria. This mismatch frequently leads to young people searching for jobs for longer periods and a growing discrepancy between work possibilities and the skills available.

Positions That Don’t Support Aspirations

The tendency of young professionals to abandon occupations that do not align with their career ambitions is a significant factor leading to youth unemployment. Many people take occupations that are not really what they want to do, which causes them to be unhappy and unmotivated. Young people frequently look for alternate alternatives due to this mismatch between their personal aspirations and job positions, which leads to turnover and long-term unemployment.

Solutions to Youth Unemployment

Even though dealing with youth unemployment is clearly a difficult undertaking, there are workable solutions that can have an impact:

Modified Screening Process

An important way to address youth unemployment is to put in place a customized hiring process that connects employers with qualified applicants. Because of their inexperience, young professionals are sometimes overlooked by traditional recruitment approaches, despite their promise. Employers who adopt a more comprehensive approach might evaluate candidates based on their skills, potential, and openness to learning.

By using this tactic, young people can show off their skills, thereby breaking the cycle of bias stemming from a lack of experience and creating opportunities for employment.

Promoting Adaptability and Future Investment

For young professionals dealing with the difficulties of unemployment, resilience is essential. Fostering resilience in youth entails establishing in them a feeling of tenacity, flexibility, and hope. Community support networks, motivational workshops, and mentoring programs might be beneficial. We enable young professionals to overcome obstacles, maintain a good attitude, and seize opportunities when they present themselves by fostering resilience.

Free Career Guidance

Young professionals might benefit from career coaching in terms of both personal development and job searching. Giving people access to free career coaching services equips them with the skills they need to succeed in the job market. This includes tips on how to prepare for interviews, build a resume, and network. Young people’s professional growth is accelerated by career coaching since it gives them the skills and self-assurance to showcase their abilities.

career coach providing career guidance
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What Can You Do as an Unemployed Youth?

What should an unemployed young professional do? Here are helpful tips

1. Acquire new skills.

Use your free time by learning new skills or improving existing ones, researching job market demands, and possessing essential digital skills. These skills not only improve employment opportunities but also contribute to personal growth and enhance your employability. Make a point of honing these abilities to improve your chances of landing a job.

2. Build and widen your professional network.

Sometimes, the key to finding new job opportunities lies in who you know, as most jobs are word-of-mouth rather than online. Joining neighborhood groups, trade associations, and attending seminars can help you find the right person and land a job opportunity.

3. Improve your cover letter and resume.

To apply for new employment, tailor your cover letter and resume to the job you’re applying for. Highlight your past work experiences, highlight your skills, and research job descriptions. Use keywords to highlight your fit for the role, and ensure your resume is visually appealing and well-structured.

4. Work on a side hustle.

Launching a side business from home can boost self-confidence and provide direction for advancing skills. It can involve web development, graphic design, content writing, or tutoring to acquire marketable skills for future employment. Freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer diverse jobs on a part-time basis.

5. Check out possible employers.

Research companies that align with your professional goals and understand their culture, mission, and initiatives. Personalize applications and highlight their contributions to their success. Utilize news stories, LinkedIn, and company websites for informed job choices.

6. Consider apps and websites for job searching.

Use job search websites and mobile apps like Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor to find employment opportunities. Set up job alerts, regularly check these sites, and keep your profile updated.

7. Hire a career coach.

Career coaches can alleviate uncertainties by assisting in assessing objectives, talents, and career options. Find successful experts on popular sites to find a mentor to help you achieve your goals.

newly hired professional defying youth unemployment
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Career Experts Can Help You with Your Unemployment

With a whole world of promise and growth on the other side of the door, all you need is an opportunity that opens before you. And while youth unemployment remains a big issue, there is one solution you can consider heeding now.

Spend your time wisely by revamping and updating your job search tools, while at the same time preparing for potential job interviews. We have an exhaustive list of the top resume writing services right at your fingertips. These companies take pride of their extensive experience helping countless clients — including entry-level applicants — land their target jobs toward rewarding careers. Check out our in-depth reviews to find out which company is ideal for you. Best of luck!