By Lance Lambert
The News Record, U. Cincinnati
(UWire)—Labor officials say graduates and former students seeking entry-level jobs must strive for higher education prior to application as employers are hiring older, more experienced workers.
Recent data released by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) shows unemployment is increasing in Cincinnati, from 8.5% in May rising to 9.2% this June.
The unemployment rate in Ohio for 2010 was 9.7%. The most outstanding among all age groups were young adults.
According to the ODJFS, ages 16-19 had an unemployment rate of 23.6%, followed by 18.9% for ages 20-24.
"If you look at education obtainment levels for employees, the higher [their education], the lower their unemployment rate," said Murat Tasci an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
"This age group has had high unemployment because they have low attachment to the workforce and a low education obtainment," Tasci said. "The more educated you are the more likely you are to find a job."
In 2010, unemployment percentage for workers without college degrees was 10.4%, while those with a college degree or greater were unemployed at 4.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Urban League of Greater Cincinnati is working to address the lack of skills and training for young people, says Dorothy Smoot, vice president of youth services for the group.
Competition during the recession has increased the difficulty for young people to find entry-level jobs.
"If we have young people dropping out of school [or] graduates that have no skills, they are handicapped when it comes to finding employment," Smoot said. "Our summer program this year had ages 14-18, and we introduced them to work, and gave them a chance to work with different employers and allow them to learn good work skills."
Competition during the recession has increased the difficulty for young people to find entry-level jobs because older, more experienced workers who are unemployed are applying to the same positions. The employer will go with the more experienced, Smoot said.
"We want to help young people be more prepared for entry-level [jobs] because entry level does not look like entry level anymore," Smoot said.