Weary Youth Face Unemployment on a National Scale

The crisp summer air of San Francisco State University is one that embraces the voices of the young and ambitious, but the fears of this generation reflect those of people across the U.S.  Each step taken means that there will be less time to prepare for the harsh reality of employment, but that doesn’t mean that there will be no smiles in accomplishing academic goals.

It seems to be commonly accepted that those who pursue their academic career are going to eventually find success.  With each college diploma, there are new opportunities for the developing working class, but when a city like San Francisco suffers from an increasing population, the level of employment becomes unsustainable.  According to the Census Bureau, the population of the San Francisco County has increased by 32,207 in just three years.  However, this doesn’t stop people, specifically the ambitious future generations of our country, from hoping that a career opportunity will open

Thousands of college students have their own story about painful loans and housing options, but one thing that they can all agree on is how difficult it is to obtain a job.  Why is it that when one feels ready for employment, all previous knowledge seems useless?  How do college students react to the unemployment rate and how many can actually say that they have a job?

With a high school degree, there is a high chance that jobs will not be readily available.  This not only pertains to those that do not continue with their academic careers, as college students often face the pressure of unemployment.

There is a vast difference between the graph above and the one below.  With a college degree, many people are able to obtain jobs and thus, the rate of employment drops by more than 20% for underemployment and more than 10% for unemployment.

San Francisco State University Response to Unemployment Problem

San Francisco State University students and faculty have been affected by the shocking state of youth unemployment.

Rising sophomore Sayoni, who asked that her full name not be used for privacy, is currently unemployed, though she has attempted to find a job on numerous occasions.

“In my freshman year, I did apply for a lot of jobs and did not get called back,” she said. “It’s not I applied for one or two — I applied for like four to five throughout the year. I kind of gave up because I didn’t get anything.”

She was therefore confused as to why friends with similar resumes to her own were able to get past the application process.

“I guess the resume matters too, but there definitely is an element of luck when looking to get a job right now.”

Like Sayoni, rising senior Emilia, who asked that her full name not be used for privacy, had trouble finding a place in the professional world.

“I was looking into internships in the city,” she said. “The application process is easy, but fighting for it is a different situation.”

The lack of job opportunities forces employers to tighten application requirements — specifically hiring only those with prior job experience. As Emilia found, however, “it’s difficult getting prior experience when you can’t even get your foot in the door.”

While Sayoni and Emilia have been affected by the state of unemployment in the nation,  former SFSU student and current SFSU employee Mrs. Lee, who asked that her full name not be used for privacy, has never had an issue finding a job.

“My first job was a paper carrier in junior high,” she said. “Then I worked at Subway, and then a retail store. I think it’s about climbing the ladder. Even though the experience isn’t super great, it’s something. It’s better to start with something than nothing.”

Lee believes that the key to getting a job is to work, no matter how “mediocre” the job may seem. She believes that students are having issues with finding jobs because they are aiming too high. She uses the aforementioned explanation to illustrate why one of her friends, who graduated from UC Davis in 2012, has been unable to find a job.

“People don’t want to work because they often don’t get their first choice job, or a job in their field,” she said. “If he didn’t mind working at a fast food restaurant, he would find a job.”

According to Lee, the staggering rate of youth unemployment would be fixed if students were less picky about the jobs they pursue. Read a staff member’s different take on how to fix unemployment below.

Possible Solutions

an editorial piece on the state of unemployment in our nation today


The word unemployment seems nearly impossible to tackle, and without the right resources, how can we possibly hope to fix anything? The truth is, unemployment can’t be ‘fixed’ without serious thought from both employers and the government. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough jobs, it’s that there aren’t enough jobs that are specifically aimed towards the younger generation. If you need experience to get a job, but can’t get experience unless you get a job, then how can you expect to get a call back from that interview?

The government needs to make sure all schools nationwide properly prepare students for life after their high school and or college education. The point of college is to learn more, obviously, but it’s clearly also a way to gain a hefty paycheck. So if you have a college degree, you should have no trouble getting a job, right? Wrong. According to the Huffington Post, there is a 7.8% unemployment rate for recent graduates. To put that into perspective, the current unemployment rate in the U.S. is 6.3%. It’s blatantly obvious that something is wrong here, and it doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to figure that one out.

The fault lies not within students, but within the programs that don’t properly prepare students for their futures. The government needs to do a better job integrating new and better jobs, which will benefit not only them, but the country as a whole as well. More jobs will help the housing market get back up on its feet, which will drive more funding to schools, which will create more traffic to lower populated areas, which in turn creates more jobs.

Which future would you rather see: one with more people than jobs, or the one with enough jobs for everyone?