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Young grads face tough job market

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NEW YORK (5/25/11)--As graduation ceremonies loom at high schools and colleges, new grads face a tough job market (CNN Money May 16). Young people age 16 to 24 make up about one-quarter of the nation’s unemployed workers with a 17.6% unemployment rate. At about 3.7 million people, members of this age demographic are having trouble getting their careers started. Today more than ever young people need an education to advance their lives. As the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2011-2012 Environmental Scan notes, in 1973 three-quarters of employees in the U.S. had a high school degree or less. High-school dropouts today make up only 11% of the work force. “The trend toward a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation and globalization will continue to accelerate,” the E-Scan reports, calling today’s work world “a college environment.” Indeed the unemployment rate for high school dropouts 25 years and older is 14.6%, reports For those with only a high school degree, the unemployment rate is 9.7%, more than double that of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Still, the hiring picture is better for new college grads this year than last. CUNA’s MoneyMix (May) reports that, in its job outlook update for fall 2011, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers plan to hire 19.3% more graduates this year than they did in the previous year. The available jobs confirm that education is the key for employable young people. A Labor Department survey of employers found that some jobs grew steadily through the recent recession--jobs in health care, education, the federal government, and information technology services. Those industries that lost the most jobs: construction and manufacturing. Some tips for job hunting:
* If you have an affinity for an organization or company, reach out and express your interest. * Focus on quality, not quantity. In other words, seek jobs that appeal to your interests and talents. * Consider using social media to demonstrate your talents. Writing a blog can demonstrate both initiative and an aptitude for technology. * Pick and choose your targets, and work your contacts. Stay in touch even when job interviews don’t work out. * Sell yourself and your knowledge of the company that you are hoping will hire you. * Consider freelancing or working a temporary assignment to gain experience and get your foot in the door. * Don’t forget the personal touches; send a thank you note or e-mail.
And if you’ve been laid off, find more job-search suggestions in “Get Back in the Game After Losing a Job” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.