COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The Palmetto State has some of the worst unemployment for 16-24 year-olds in the country. That is according to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Business Insider .
According to the data, there are 68,000 unemployed youth in South Carolina. The state's average unemployment rate for 16-24 year-olds is 26.4 percent (32.1 percent for 16-19 year-olds and 20.6 percent for 20-24 year-olds). That rate is far higher than the state unemployment rate of 11 percent.
Recent Census data highlights the missed opportunities and dim prospects for a generation of mostly 20-somethings and 30-somethings coming of age in a prolonged slump with high unemployment.
"We have a monster jobs problem, and young people are the biggest losers," said Andrew Sum, an economist and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. He noted that for recent college grads now getting by with waitressing, bartending and odd jobs, they will have to compete with new graduates for entry-level career positions when the job market eventually does improve.Related Stories S.C. unemployment numbers fall slightly Group has formula on how to find and keep a job Bridgestone expansion to bring 850+ jobs, $1.2 billion Census: Recession taking toll on young adults
"Their really high levels of underemployment and unemployment will haunt young people for at least another decade," Sum said.
The numbers are just as bad for many of South Carolina's southern neighbors.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina, and all have average youth unemployment rates of more than 20 percent.
Do you think the unemployment issue is being adequately addressed in South Carolina? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)