Teens Struggle to Find Jobs with High Unemployment Rates - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Teens Struggle to Find Jobs with High Unemployment Rates

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima's unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent this month. This means it's not only teens who are searching for jobs.

Local businesses like coffee shops, gas stations and fast food restaurants hire a limited amount of part time and seasonal jobs for teens during the summer, leaving many young applicants unemployed.

The Opportunities Industrialization Center helps teens, young adults and students find local jobs. Some students there say that they have been looking for a job for months but haven't had any luck.

The Director of the Youth Programs there says only 54 of the 180 teens applying for summer jobs have actually landed one so far.

Teenager Julia Rizo isn't one of the 54. "Its actually hard because I've been looking for a year and a half already and Yakima doesn't really have many options," she said.

Director Sondra Pieti says Rizo's ongoing search for a job isn't the only one. "The trends in youth employment has decreased. There aren't a lot of jobs out there where a youth who is 15 years old can compete with an 18 year old or older person looking for a job."

Many local businesses are in fact hiring but do not hang signs outside or post information online. Companies like the OIC and WorkSource can help teens find local jobs. 

Businesses suggest taking a more active Approach by applying for jobs in person.