First Person: The Young and the Jobless

Down But Not Out: Yahoo! Readers Share Their Stories of Unemployment and Job-Hunting

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First Person: The Young and the Jobless
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Dylan Young.

Five million Americans are among the long-term unemployed--those without a job for 27 weeks or longer--according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another 7.3 million are looking for work, while the unemployment rate sits at 7.9 percent. Numbers aside, individual stories illustrate how America is affected. To see how joblessness hits home, Yahoo News asked unemployed workers to share their job-hunting stories. Here's one.

FIRST PERSON | I am Dylan Young, a 21-year-old computer science student at the University of Washington.

I am also looking for a job, and as I come closer and closer to graduating, my savings come closer and closer to running out, and I get more and more desperate. I've been searching for a job to help sustain myself, my education, even occasionally my family, and just to be more financially secure when I come out of college. Although I've submitted at least 10 applications to both large as well as start-up technology companies over the past six months, I've been given only one interview and have not been offered a job.

Despite the fact that I'm still attending college, I do have ample job experience at a low level in my field, as well as a good record as far as past education goes. Yet, although I've been searching for a below-average, entry-level job in a technical field practically nonstop since I started college, I've been unable to find a single employer. In just a couple years I'll have my B.S. in computer science, and if I can't find a job then, I'll be in a bad situation. Back when my parents were going to college, they were able to find an employer who would guarantee them a full-time, well-paid job above entry level when they got out of college and pay for their tuition. I can't even land a job as a technician at Radio Shack.

Now my situation isn't exactly dire as it stands right now. As long as I'm in college I have a safe zone; neither of my parents were employed when I applied (or are now for that matter) so I have plenty of financial aid with which to pay for my education and my on-campus housing. There are two looming problems coming up on me, however. One is what I'm going to do to support myself when I get out of college. The other is how my family is going to support themselves when they're already giving most of what they have to pay for the parts of my college tuition that are not covered by financial aid.

I hadn't been particularly optimistic about my chances of finding a good job as a solution to these problems over the past year, and unsurprisingly I didn't find one. However, Obama having won the recent election, I'm beginning to become more optimistic about the chances of my search over the next few years.

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