Gen-Y job hunters out of luck


It's a tough time to be young. For workers under 29, the unemployment rate jumped over 11% in December compared with less than 9% a year earlier. Overall unemployment is at 7.2% percent compared with 4.9% a year ago. The increase among young people is actually smaller as a percent -- a jump of 22% vs. 47% for older workers. But still, 11% is pretty horrifying and that rate of increase is likely made lower by the number of young people who are taking jobs they are overqualified for.

What's wrong with Gen-Y, and why can't they get jobs? It's partly a function of the economy, but there's more to it than that. Career consultant J.T. O'Donnell tells MSNBC that many young people did little in the way of work during college and are "woefully unprepared to jump in and work effectively in a professional setting."

As a member of Gen Y, I can say that the issues effecting young job hunters are not just the economy. Many young people enter the workforce with a sense of entitlement and overvalue the degrees that they've earned. College is important and provides a huge advantage in the job market: For December, college grads boasted an unemployment rate of 3.7%, compared with the overall rate of 7.2%. But still:College is no substitute for networking and yes, self-promotion.

If you have a child who has recently graduated -- or better yet, is still in college -- you should definitely buy them a copy of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.