Jun 08, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
The latest numbers show the unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, with the pace of job growth slowing. When it comes to new jobs, 70 percent of those are coming from small businesses, but many of them are struggling just to hang on.
Small businesses are often responsible for filling the summer job needs of America's teenagers. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports that many 16- to 19-year-olds are finding the going rough when it comes to finding work once school is out.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 19 last month was more than 24 percent. Compare that to May of 2000, when the rate was less than 13 percent.
Looking for summer employment has become a full-time job for 19-year-old Ana Galindo.
"I'm worried all the time. I'm worried because I have bills to pay," Galindo says.
She has filled out countless applications, but so far, the answer's been the same.
"At the moment we're not hiring, but we're just taking applications. We'll give you a call," prospective employers say.
Yet the phone never rings. College sophomore John Reed-Torres has been job hunting since last November. He says he's often competing with older workers and college grads for entry-level positions.
"People with Masters (degrees) trying to work at McDonald's. They're going to get hired before I do," Reed-Torres says.
The latest figures show California's unemployment rate among teenagers is more than 34 percent, which is nearly triple the state's overall unemployment rate of 11.9 percent. In cities such as Irvine, California, job fairs have been canceled because few companies have agreed to participate.