National youth unemployment rate at 12.7 percent
Despite any advances in the current economy, the national youth unemployment rate sits at 12.7 percent for those between the ages of 18 to 29.
According to the non-profit organization Generation Opportunity, a poll surveyed more than 1,000 American youth in five days at the end of July. In their poll, results highlighted not just youth unemployment but differences of gender and race unemployment and changes to government practices the youth wished to see.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that Michigan’s Not Seasonally Adjusted unemployment rate was 10.3 percent; Isabella County’s was better at a lower 7.7 percent; and Mount Pleasant’s unemployment was 8.2 percent.
‘Now Hiring’ signs in fast food restaurant windows tease Mount Pleasant senior Lisa Otani.
For her and other job seeking youth, these signs are a bittersweet reminder of a job opportunity, and also trigger memories of previous rejections.
Otani has been job searching for steady employment since April.
“It’s been hard,” Otani said. “There (are) so many people unemployed.”
Having earned her associates degree, one would think it is a nice way to dress up a resume, but she said that isn’t always the case.
“I’ll get a call back (from places like fast food restaurants) saying that I’m overqualified because I have my associates degree,” she said.
Mid Michigan Community College student Josh Stone, of Remus, works as a gift shop clerk at the Ziibiwing Center of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and while he currently has a job, he hasn’t forgotten the difficulty in finding one.
According to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s sagchip.org website, the tribe is the largest employer in Isabella County.
“I was searching for a job as soon as I got out of high school,” Stone said. “(It) was difficult and I was frustrated. Most of my friends seemed to already have jobs, and the ones that didn’t were having just as much trouble as I was. I didn’t have any job preference at the time, and I just wanted something.”
Temp agencies and career centers offer services that help to better connect and prepare job seekers who are in this situation.
Advance Employment Inc., 2300 S. Mission St., was one such place before being damaged in the Mission Mall fire earlier this month.
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