Teens see worst job market in 30 years

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The recession continues to rock Richmond. The latest numbers paint a grim picture for our summer job market. As of May 2008 we had 26,000 people listed as unemployed in the Richmond area. Jump to May of this year and that number has already spiked to more than 50,000.

And it's not over yet. With these unemployment numbers in and teenagers out of class, just how difficult is it to be a teen looking for a job in Chesterfield County?

In a time when money is tough, 17-year old Aaron brown is willing to work any 'ole job.

"I've been trying to get a job since last year," said Aaron.

If it will bring in the bucks.

"To save up for college and I want to buy a car," he said.

After more than a year of looking...

"I've applied at Holister, Arby's, McDonalds, Wendy's, everywhere," said Aaron.

Aaron rolled up on this job at the YMCA through a job placement at a community college.  He says it was his last step before giving up.

"There are older people who are unemployed and they figure they can get people with more experience than these younger people," said Aaron.

"Oh, I believe there are also fewer jobs.  I think early reports in the spring indicated employers didn't expect to hire as many people this summer overall," said Jana Carter with Chesterfield County Juvenile Services.

With people like Aaron competing with Jordan hales for a job, the 19-year-old says she resorted to a family friend for help.

"It hits you when you're looking for a job and you can't find one," Jordan said.

The teen, who is working for Chesterfield County, was unsure if anyone would hire her. She's never worked a summer job before. But Jana Carter with juvenile services says jobs are out there, you just have to know where to look.

"Everybody's struggling and everyone is just tightening their bests even at the level of part-time employees," said Carter.

Jana Carter says you can contact Chesterfield County Juvenile Services or put your computer skills to the test and search for sites online.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.