Why should young people explore careers right now?
Recessions and depressions disproportionally affect younger workers. For the five years after the 2008 stock market collapse, unemployment among younger workers was 16.2%, more than double the national rate.
Even once these early-career workers were able to find jobs, they continued to earn lower wages, resulting in lower lifetime earnings.
We are now faced with a new crisis, one that has the potential to be much worse. Early projections suggest national unemployment will exceed 20 percent—one out of every five workers will be out of work. Many of the early layoffs impacted industries with higher proportions of under-30 workers (e.g., hospitality, travel / tourism, and the gig economy), making younger workers more vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Already in Washington state, young people are experiencing unemployment at twice the levels of older workers. More than ever, they will need pathways to emerging, high-skill, higher-wage jobs.