Everyday, Californians struggle to find and keep jobs in today’s languishing economy. For the high school students who are about to make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives, watching their parents, friends and teachers lose their jobs has created a sense of doubt about their future.
In the video above, VoiceWaves interviewed four seniors at Wilson High School and asked them how they saw themselves fitting into today’s economy.
All of those interviewed were concerned about their future career path and job prospects.
“I was planning on becoming a psychology major, but because the field is so impacted [at the university], I’ve started to rethink my decision,” said Bre Johnson, 17. “Plus, I heard it’s difficult to find a job [in that field].”
Younger workers are also experiencing more difficulty in the job market as they are competing with older, more experienced workers for the same jobs that were previously held by young workers.
“If you have work experience, it’s a little easier to find a job, but since you’re about to enter the workforce as a youth then it’s difficult to get that work experience that’s needed,” said Jon Frigillana, 17.
California had the fourth highest youth unemployment rate in the nation last year at 20.2 percent. Youth aged 16 to 24 were the hardest hit during the recent recession and were forced to either go back to school or take low-wage jobs.
Still, while young people are aware of the challenges that lay ahead, many are still moving forward in planning for their future.
“[The job market] definitely creates doubt and make us less confident about our future and if [education] is really worth it,” said Jeff Arango, 17. “[But] I want to have a stable job to be able to feed my family and live the American dream.”