A new report paints a grim picture of growing unemployment in South Carolina among young adults.
The nonprofit advocacy group Young Invincibles said Friday that only 48 percent of state residents ages 18 to 24 were employed.
That is down from 61 percent in the same age group who had jobs in 2005, the nonprofit group said.
The Palmetto State unemployment rate, meaning those who are jobless but seeking work, is 22.9 percent for 18-to-24-year-olds, which is more than double the state’s overall rate, the group said. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July was 8.1 percent, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for young adults is 15.6 percent, which is twice the rate for the general population.
“Dismal job prospects continue to leave young Americans unsure about their economic future,” Young Invincibles said in a press release.
People who graduate from college during a recession have lower wages for more than a decade, according to the organization.
An official at the College of Charleston Career Center said she has seen slow improvement in job prospects for those with new diplomas.
At graduation in June, 68 percent of students either had a job or were headed to graduate school, said Linda Robinson, coordinator of recruiting programs.
“It’s always tough for recent graduates, but it’s getting better. There’s always issues of finding the type of employment that is a good fit,” she said.
The Young Invincibles analysis notes that the average annual income for South Carolina residents ages 25-to-34 has dropped more than $2,700 since 2005.
During the past decade, economic opportunity for young adults in the Palmetto State fell dramatically and the recession made it worse. As income and job prospects dwindle, more young people find themselves in part-time work or out of the labor force entirely, the organization said.
Studies show that inability to gain early work experience dims career prospects for a lifetime.
“So many young people out of work for so long has serious long-term consequences for our country,” said Rory O’Sullivan, policy and research director for Young Invincibles.
Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to representing the interests of 18-to-34-year-olds, and expanding economic opportunity for them.