You’re Young and Unemployed. How Do You Get a Job and Keep It?

Editor’s note: Make It Missoula is collaborating with the Missoula Job Service to help people find local jobs so that they can move home to Missoula or continue to call Missoula home.

We’ll be regularly posting both job listings and job hunting and interview advice. Be sure to watch the Make It Missoula Facebook page for new job listing announcements.


A number of recent articles have focused on the ages of American workers and noteworthy changes taking place in the makeup of America’s workforce.

According to The Herman Trend Alert, the number of workers aged 55 or older continues to rise, while the numbers of younger workers (those in their 20s or 30s) has fallen significantly.

In fact, according to The Atlantic, “Overall joblessness is between two and three times higher for 20-somethings than older workers, and the greatest percentage increase in unemployment between December 2007 and September 2010 happens to be 20-24-year olds … with a college education!

These articles bring up a number of questions.

First, what factors led to this shift? Is this trend apparent in Montana? And finally, what can younger workers do to mitigate the effects of this development?

Due to reduced savings and declining home values, many Baby Boomers are choosing to remain in the workforce and delay retirement. This creates a lack of jobs for the younger generation.

As a result, the job market continues to be bleak for individuals graduating from college within the last decade. One study notes that only half of college graduates since 2006 are employed full time.

In addition, many college graduates are now settling for jobs that don’t require degrees or are outside of their primary field of study. With the retention of older workers and the paucity of well-paying jobs, many younger workers remain unable to find employment.

According to a recent study concerning Montana’s mass layoffs, these statistics held true for our state as well. In 2010, for example, workers aged 30 to 44 made up the largest number of initial unemployment claims, closely followed by individuals under 30.

What can you do as a young person to obtain a job and remain employed?

Over the next month, we will attempt to answer this question. Stay tuned!


Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.


Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey of the Missoula Job ServiceJennifer Lodine-Chaffey was born in Missoula and received an MA in History from the University of Montana in 2006. She currently works as an Employment Consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our job board, website, and social media outlets. Employment Consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skills testing.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!