Idaho unemployment rate dismal for young adults

LEWISTON, ID - Finding a job during an economic recession is harder on some than others.

Recent job numbers are dismal for young adults within the age range of 16 to 24.

"It's more challenging for students," said Career & Advising Services Director Debra Lybyer. "It's a much more competitive job market than 10 years ago."

That's because nationally the unemployment rate for young adults is 16.2%, which is more than twice the national average. In Lewiston, that trend holds true.

"The 18 to 24 year old group is about double the average unemployment rate, and so when things get really hard their unemployment rate truly soars," said Idaho Dept. of Labor Economist Kathryn Tacke.

Increased unemployment negatively affects everyone.

"I've got a lot of friends looking for jobs and have not been able to get them despite applying to 10 or 20 different stores," said LCSC student Joshua Quimby.

These days the inability to obtain a job is often times not due to the lack of effort, rather lack of experience in a competitive job market.

"They're the least skilled folks and so they're the least likely to get hired," said Tacke.

So how do you get experience if no one will hire you?

"They need to get some work experience, even if it isn't related to their field," said Lybyer. "So when they go out and look for a professional position they have some work skills."

Studies show that the inability to gain early work experience can greatly hinder future career prospects for a lifetime.

"The difference is really preparing yourself so your skills are tip-top because it isn't quite as easy as it use to be," said Lybyer.

Officials at the Idaho Labor Department said despite low job numbers, Lewiston is still doing better than many places throughout the State of Idaho.