JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – High school students entering college and college graduates are having a more difficult time finding jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS suggests 15.2% of all employees between the ages of 16 and 29 are unemployed. Officials with Arkansas State University said the unemployment rate could be due to a number of reasons.
"There are people that are staying in the job force longer that are staying in these jobs longer and there are people that are our age and older that are working in food service industries and hotel industries and those kinds of things," said Terry Finney, Director of ASU Financial Aid.
Finney said more students are deciding to pursue a higher education even after college graduation.
"I think you're also seeing a lot of students who are getting out of school with their bachelor degrees and they're looking for jobs, and they can't find what they're looking for or they can't find a job and we see a lot of students coming back to grad school now," said Finney. "There are a lot of people out there that are looking for jobs. That's why a lot of people go to another area and get a job or a position."
The unemployment rate for workers 16-29 is the highest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics was created in 1948.
"A lot of people are staying in those so it could be the entry level jobs that people are having a hard time finding and where a lot of the shortages come from," said Finney. "With everything that has closed down and how people have cut back and how folks are losing jobs, laying people off, then maybe that's not such a surprise after all."
Jessica Rhodes and Tiffany Sims said they have been trying to find jobs within their degree for more than a year.
"I really did not prefer to work here because I did want to be somewhere in my profession so I'm just stuck right now," said Rhodes, who works as a cashier at a home improvement store. "It seems like, it's just hard and when I do graduate I'm moving out of Arkansas."
"If you're set on staying in one place, you may have a hard time finding a job but if you're willing to relocate, you may have a better chance of finding a job," said Finney.
"It's hard because I have to rely on my mom and most of my job money goes to pay loans off and stuff. It's a struggle because you have to live day by day in paying school loans," said Sims.
Finney said some fields are not lacking in the job market, including education and medicine.