For Youth, Many Job-Seekers Are Stuck in the Summer Doldrums

Thursday, July 05, 2012

summer, beach, heat, suntanning (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Young job-seekers may find themselves sweating it this summer.

Unemployment for Americans under 25 remains high at 16.4 percent — twice the national average — and underemployment is also a concern, especially for college grads, according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute.

Nicole Pesce, a recent NYU graduate, said she has already spent time underemployed this summer.

"I moved back to my parents' house in the suburbs,” she said, “and I was taking odd jobs that paid cash, like babysitting or working at an architecture firm just to kind of do odd things because I wanted to make extra money.”

The question among college kids used to be whether to take an unpaid internship at a well known company or a paid internship at a lesser-known company, said Cornell University Labor Economist Linda Barrington, who studies the job market in the city.

"Now you're hearing about graduates taking unpaid internships even for a year or two after college," Barrington said.

Others say it helps to reach out to friends and family in the workforce.

Jessica Hernstadt, 19, is originally from New Zealand but is living with family in Brooklyn for the summer. She said she found her job at a café in the West Village through connections.


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