The Bleak Labor Market for Young Adults

The current job market is not doing any favors for young graduates of secondary, post-secondary or tertiary institutions of higher learning. As of July 8th, 2016 the young adult unemployment rate was 15.5 percent, more than triple the national average of 4.9 percent.

The hiring prospects of young adults are affected by several trends in the major trends in the labor market. The recession still plays a large part in hiring practices in that older workers, unemployed as a result of the recession, are taking lower-paying, entry-level jobs. Many employers who previously hired entry-level workers with the aim of investing in their training and development have shifted to prioritizing job candidates with experience. Additionally, the supply for workers with higher education degrees far exceeds the demand. Anthony Carnevale, Nicole Smith and Jeff Strohl succinctly explained the job market:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the premier government source for information on jobs, shows that only 27 percent of jobs (percentage calculated from table 2) in the U.S. economy currently require a college degree (associate degree or higher). By comparison, the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of 60,000 households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that 47 percent of workers have an associate degree or higher.

To compound the issue, projections for job creation when compared to graduation rates do not suggest any relief for graduates looking to enter the job market in the coming years.

Program Design

America’s Future Workforce designed the Education to Employment Program to specifically address common barriers facing workforce newcomers. All fellows who join America’s Future Workforce have access to the following programming to support their development into highly employable workers:

Guidance on further education suited to personal interests and occupational industry growth

Small group counseling sessions aimed at teaching communication skills, socio-emotional coping mechanisms, and behavioral regulation techniques

Case Management to address personal barriers to employment such as assistance with public transportation or access to childcare

Career Workshops providing concrete workplace and job search skills

Internship Experience

Post-program Planning

Career Specific Technical Training

The Economic Outcomes

America’s Future Workforce has a proven track record of successfully building relationships with employers throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. By providing training to high school, college and graduate school students, placing them in internships and assisting them in making professional connections, we help our fellows build a professional network that allows them to immediately find employment. Not only does America’s Future Workforce create a better pathway to employment for students by creating a pipeline of talented future employees, but it also helps employers find trained, job-ready employees.

Apply Here

The application to the Education to Employment Program can be found here.

Past Fellows


Arturo Hill | Summer 2014 Fellow

Arturo Hill is in the middle of his senior year at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, VA. He enjoys learning and he excels in his US history and government classes. When he graduates from high school he’ll seek a career in computer graphics, architecture or education. As an America’s Future Workforce fellow he will work with Going Green Today.


Yarden Kakon | Summer 2014 Fellow

Yarden Kakon, a University of Florida student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Communication Studies, will spend the 2014 summer with Rialtas Public Strategies, LLC. She will conduct research, draft presentations to be used in meetings with federal agencies and clients, and prepare correspondence and other documents. In addition, she will attend Congressional hearings and seminars and prepare summaries for the Principal Director.


Danyoung Kim | Summer 2014 Fellow

Danyoung Kim, a Cornell University student majoring in Government and minoring in History and Music, will spend the summer with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). She will perform a number of tasks, including conducting basic research on state use of value-added models to evaluate teachers, exploring district-level strategies for comprehensive approaches to education, enhancing the Broader, Bolder Approach (BBA) website through new information and materials, and supporting BBA and EPI events and presentations.