Since the recession in 2007, Atlanta has had its fair share of unemployed people. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Atlanta has risen every month since March 2007. The rate has been inconsistent throughout the years and continues to be even more inconsistent in the 2010s. These numbers beg the question, is it hard for millennials and young college students to find employment in today’s economy?
Atlanta’s unemployment rate is always its highest in the month of January, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution, due to seasonal jobs. Many retail jobs, like Macy’s, create an abundance of jobs temporarily because of the business that takes place during the holidays. Another sector of jobs that have a high unemployment rate is leisure and hospitality, in which most millennials find work.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, leisure and hospitality unemployment rate rose from 4.4 percent in 2015 to 7.0 percent in 2016. This is a concern for young millennials and college students who may work on days they do not have any class or may work right after class. It is also a problem because college is not for everyone and young people need to find a job as soon as possible. It can also serve as a way to pay for tuition, food or other needs during college.
What direction should they take if there are not many avenues? I asked some college students for their opinion on the subject. Patrick Sledge, a journalism major at the Dunwoody campus, put it in simple words: “Trade School.” Sledge added, “A lot of young people are not being presented the chance to become a skilled worker.”
Naya Clark, a journalism major at Dunwoody campus, believes that entrepreneurship is the way to go. “Create your own business and dabble in everything, but not too much in everything,” said Clark. Trade School and starting a business seem to be the routes to take, but not many millennials are looking in that direction. There are still many skilled workers’ jobs available not only in Atlanta, but Georgia as a whole. It seems like a lot of millennials are looking to get into college and hope their major gets them through the door.
So what about the millennials fresh out of college? How does the increasing unemployment rate actually affect them? Journalism major at the Dunwoody campus Katie Harlow about this. “It makes them get a job totally out [their] field,” said Harlow.