Young Adults Make Up Nearly Half Of America’s Unemployed Workforce

April 4, 2013 | | Think Progress |

The 5.6 million young adults who are willing and able to work but cannot find a job make up 45 percent of America’s unemployed workforce, while another 4.7 million are stuck in part-time jobs when they are seeking full-time employment, according to a new report from Demos. In total, the U.S. needs to add 4.1 million jobs for young workers — ages 18 to 34 — to return to pre-recession levels of employment.

While unemployment for ages 18-to-34 is high, it is especially high for workers on the bottom half of that range, as this chart from the Demos report shows:

Unemployment is also worse for minority youths — particularly blacks and Latinos — and for young people without a college education. While the unemployment rate is low for young workers with a college degree — 7.7 percent for ages 18-to-24 and 5.1 percent for ages 25-to-34 — it is 10 percent for workers with only a high school diploma and 16.5 percent for workers with less education than that.