Teen unemployment rate high in GA this summer

Teen unemployment rate high in GA this summer
Goodwill Career Services has seen more 16 to19 year olds visit the Career Center since April.
Goodwill Career Services has seen more 16 to19 year olds visit the Career Center since April.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Georgia reported the largest increase in unemployment rates across the country, rising from 6.9 percent in April 2014 to 7.2 percent in May 2014, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. Emily Layton, the district manager of Goodwill Career Services, says this is a trend Georgia sees every summer.

"Peak season is in that May and June crossover with July being the highest employment peak, because it's right in middle of summer," Layton said. "There's lot of competition for small amount of jobs because many employers are looking for people to hire while they have a summer increase."

Layton said she has seen more 16 to19 year olds visit the Career Center since April. More young job seekers are looking for work as recent college graduates try to find full time jobs and high school students try to find summer gigs.

"We definitely have a higher increase in number of young people coming in," Layton explained. "We do training for teens and of course, adults. We help them with their resumes, we help them with interview skills, how to dress and how to answer questions to show them your work ethics. Often times, it's hard for students to find jobs because adults with more experiences are preferred. However, if you help your employers believe that you have what it takes to get the job done, your chances of getting that job increases."

Although the center sees a large number of young job seekers looking for jobs now, she said the youth employment rate has been declining nationwide since the end of the 1970's.

"Some of this change has lot to do with teenagers looking toward their college applications," Layton said. "They are doing lot of volunteering, lot of unpaid internships to revamp their resumes, instead of just working to make quick cash."

Layton said it's still important for students to land full time jobs to show future employees they are capable of keeping and having a job and they understand the value of money.

"If possible, we encourage students to find a job and stick to it while still attending school," Layton said. "So it's important to find a job that will work around your class schedule. Holding a job can be a highly marketable skill in college. Just because you have a degree, doesn't mean you're going to get a job right away. It's your resume and your experience that is going to really sell you to your future employees."

Although studies show that the teen employment rate is declining, Georgia's teen unemployment rate is still well above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor, Georgia ranks 11th on a list of the worst states with a teen jobless rate of nearly 30 percent.

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