This past semester at Sonoma State University, I took an Investigative Sociology class with Dr. Peter Phillips. The class was designed to give students hands-on experience in community action research and addresses issues of social justice. The class was divided into research groups and my groups’ task was Youth Unemployment in Sonoma County (specifically ages 18-24).
We called ourselves “Generation Jobless?” We used different research strategies such as random phone surveys, database research and we were able to talk to community advisors for their opinions. As a group, we believed that the youth generation is discouraged towards job opportunities for several reasons; one due to the cycle in and out of low paying work and two due to the lack of opportunity due to required skills.
We thought more than half of the youth in Sonoma County are working and we found that there are more employed youth than unemployed. With doing research before our phone surveys, we found that 21% of youth are unemployed in Sonoma County. We did phone surveys with exactly 100 18-24 year olds and found that more are employed than unemployed. Even though our phone survey results show that more youth are employed in Sonoma County, it’s rising every year. The “discouraged worker” among youth is becoming more evident in the work world according to our research.