Young people affected by unemployment

As unemployment climbs across the country, many younger people are finding it more difficult to land a job and secure their future personal finances.

According to the New York Post, which cited data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for younger people aged 16 to 24 has hit 52.2 percent, a figure that does not include students. Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, told the paper that unemployment for younger people is a “dire situation,” at least for the short term.

“This group won’t do as well as their parents unless the jobs situation changes,” Shierholz said.

Along with not being able to find jobs, college students are graduating with more debts. According to Sallie Mae, the average credit card debt for a graduating college senior rose from $2,900 in 2004 to $4,100 in 2009.

Overall, the College Board has reported the median debt held by a graduate from a four-year public university was $17,700, which represents a 4 percent increase over five years. For private universities, the average median debt amounted to $22,375, which is a 5 percent increase over five years.

Given the amount owed by recent graduates, and the fact many can’t find jobs, younger people may find it that much more difficult to get out of debt.