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'There's not a lot out there'

Youths face tougher job market than others

Courtesy photo.
April 20, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Back in 1965, the first U.S. combat troops were arriving in Vietnam, but The Who famously sang "The Kids Are Alright."

Unfortunately, the title of a recently-released economic study indicates just the opposite is true, pointing out what many have seen intuitively — young people are being disproportionately left unemployed by the current recession.

"Kids who have jobs try to keep them. Kids who want jobs try to find them," observed Southbridge High history teacher John McHugh. "But in this economy, you have a lot of older workers supplementing their income in jobs that were uniquely for younger people a few years ago."

One of those younger people is Shawn Surprenant, 20, who is lucky enough to have a job. For the last year or so, he has been a supervisor at a local McDonald's.

"There's not a whole lot out there," he said coming out of WalMart Monday. "I tried myself and pretty much the only thing available was this one. It's the one job there will always be a need for — fast food, because it's cheap."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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