RI Youth Hit Hardest by Sluggish Economy

May 21, 2013

You think it’s tough finding a job in Rhode Island if you’re an adult, try being someone just starting out.  A new report shows the youth unemployment rate in Rhode Island is nearly twice the adult rate.

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 8.8 percent. But for people aged 16 to 24, it’s 17 percent. That, according to the youth advocacy group “Young Invincibles,” which based its conclusions on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Rhode Island teens and young adults are seeing double the state's unemployment rate.

The “Young Invincibles” report shows fewer than half of young people who have a job are working full time, that’s down ten percent in the last eight years. Similarly, the number of young people who have jobs at all has declined from 65 percent in 2005 to 56 percent today.

Rory O’Sullivan, policy director for “Young Invincibles” says young people without jobs face a lifetime of lower earnings.

“Young people who graduate in a recession can see lower wages for over a decade after they graduate,” said O’Sullivan. “And there’s good evidence that if you good job early on in your career you’re going to be a lot more successful. If you don’t have that experience that can really hurt you for years to come.”

O’Sullivan said it’ll be another tough summer for kids to find jobs.

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