Congratulations, Class of 2011. You did it! I applaud all the young men and women in the upcoming graduating class. Whether it is a high school diploma, an associated degree, a college or a graduate degree, these scholars have achieved a significant milestone. They have survived all those tough finals, complex projects, long nights, and yes, the wild parties too. It is certainly a time to celebrate.
This year though, after the celebration, there comes another storm that these young adults need to brave - economic reality. In May the unemployment rate stood at 9.1%. While a slight improvement from that at the height of the financial crisis, this level of unemployment has not been seen since the early eighties. Even more disturbing is the severe impact this recession continues to have on young people entering the job market.
Recession Hits Young Workers Hard
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the May unemployment rate stood at 21.9% for 18-19 year-olds, and 14.7% for the 20-24 year-olds, while workers over 35 years of age face an unemployment rate below 8%. These statistics illustrate the difficulties youths face when entering the today's job market.
For the graduating class of 2011 not all news is bad news. Current data shows that the unemployment rate drops as the education level increases. For those without a high school diploma, last May's unemployment rate was 14.7%. The rate dropped to 9.5% for high school graduates, 8.0% for those a college or associate degree, and 4.5% for those with a bachelor degree or higher.
Opportunities in "Green Businesses"
If you or your loved ones are exploring career options, have you considered opportunities in green business or alternative health? The demand for alternatives to pharmaceutical-based health care continues to grow. And green business, such as eco-sensitive construction and renewable energy, continues to make inroads into the mainstream economy today.
Here are some education and vocational training opportunities to get you prepared:
Schools - Colleges & Education Centers
Workshops & Classes - Green Practices
Workshops - Natural Health
Workshops - Mind & Spirit
For anyone seeking guidance for a new career, experienced professionals can help with career planning and life decisions:
Counseling - Holistic
We hope you find these resources helpful. While there will be bumps along the road, dreams live on for those who are willing to pursue them.