Local News

Teen unemployment at 25-percent in Spokane County

Teen unemployment

School's out for summer and if you are a teenager looking for a job, be prepared for a lengthy wait.

The national teen unemployment rate is 24.5 percent. In Spokane County, it's slightly higher, at 25.1 percent.

"It's discouraging. I mean you want to give up and stop applying," 18-year-old Ceaira Nichols said.

Nichols, who just graduated from high school, has been looking for a job for a year and so far hasn't had any luck.

"I've been applying throughout this last year and I've been turned down, some within 12 hours," Nichols said.

Nichols isn't alone. One in four Spokane teens looking for work can't find a job.

"I applied to 10 last night and I'm hoping I can get something," Nichols said.

Heidi Peterson is with Next Generation Zone, which partners with Worksource to help teens find jobs. She says it's important for teenagers to follow two steps.

"First is to start with networking so that's going to be parents, teachers and advisers," Peterson said.

The second step is volunteering.

"Volunteer opportunities can turn into work even if they don't the first year or right away, they are getting that work experience," Peterson said.

Katie Willoughby is proof you can be 18 and find work. Willoughby landed not just one job but two, one in a veterinary clinic and the other with a research company.

"It's giving me my independence to do what I want to do while I'm going to school," Willoughby said.

Next Generation Zone is a great resource for those 16 to 21 who live in Spokane County. The center offers free resume building classes and can also help teens with mock interviews. For more information on Next Generation Zone, click here.