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The Upstate Economy

Unemployment figures worse for under-30s

The national unemployment level remained unchanged at 7.8 percent for December, according to Bureau of Labor Statistic figures released today. This is the 49th consecutive month unemployment has been above 7 percent but according to analysis from an interest group, those numbers don’t reflect the reality for young adults.

The nation may have avoided the immediate impact of the so-called fiscal cliff but Terence Grado, director of national and state policy at Generation Opportunity says that’s little comfort to young adults with the unemployment rate for 18-29 year-olds sitting at 11.5 percent. Generation Opportunity focuses on policy issues of importance to young people.

“The fiscal cliff deal has not alleviated everyone’s concerns, you know you’ve got taxes going up on people, about 75 percent of everyone is going to see a decrease in take home pay due to the payroll tax expiring. So it’s going to be tough for the unemployment for young people to really improve.”

Grado believes that seasonal hiring has actually artificially lowered the figures for December, and the figures will go back up in the New Year.

He also says there are an additional 1.7 million 18-29 year-olds nationwide no longer labeled as unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, because they’ve stopped searching for a job.

If non-participation was taken into account youth unemployment would rise to 16.3 percent, Grado says.