For many teens in Iowa, a job is not only a means of earning spending money or saving for a college education, it is a way to gain experience in the skills required for a particular job, as well as the general responsibilities that go along with holding a job. And for those teenagers who graduate from high school and decide not to go on to college, they must find jobs to support themselves and possibly their families. Those who do go to college may work to support their educational endeavors. However, this category of workers often faces difficulty in finding a job.
Unemployment rates in Iowa are consistently higher for teens age 16-19 years old and for high school graduates age 18-20 years old than they are for the Iowa workforce as a whole. According to Census Bureau data, in 2011, the unemployment rate was 13.8 percent for teens age 16-19 years old and 17.6 percent for high school graduates age 18-20 years old. Among all Iowans, the unemployment rate in 2011 was 5.9 percent.