Younger Workers Rely Heavily on Credit Cards


Across the United States debt takes its toll on members of all generations in various ways.  Younger workers are struggling with high rates of unemployment and low wages causing them to rely more heavily on credit cards to get by. With heavy credit card use to make up for lost wages, debt takes on a mind of its own and sometimes can spiral out of control.

For example, the state of Georgia is currently experiencing the 8th highest unemployment rate in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, younger workers are struggling against an even higher rate of unemployment – 23.7% for workers aged 16 to 19 years old.

According to the providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services®, the number of younger Georgia residents seeking debt relief is rising at alarming rates. The number of 18 to 24 year old Georgians seeking debt help rose 40% from 2010 to 2011, while the number of 24 to 34 year olds seeking help also rose, by 4%, during that same time.

In addition the high levels of unemployment, low wages play a major role in the numbers of younger workers who are struggling with debt.  The Economic Policy Institute reports that wages are down, nationally, for high school and college grads: since 2000, wages for high school grads decreased 11.1%, while college grads are making 5.4% less.

The reliance of these younger workers on credit cards to keep up with everyday living expenses, may account for the growing need for debt relief. So how can younger workers prepare to keep up when faced with these challenges?

Younger Workers Getting an Edge

Even with today’s troubled economy, younger workers looking for a good job isn’t impossible. When searching there are several things to give younger workers an edge; including a positive attitude.

  • Put some thought into it.   Students and younger workers alike should consider the hours they are available to work, and using their area of study to their advantage. In doing so they will gain experience for later on when they graduate and begin looking for employment.
  • Focus on growing careers.  By focusing on a career that is in demand younger workers just might be able to land a job with good wages. Younger workers looking for ideas should check out the United States Department of Labor’s projections through 2018.
  • Do some homework.  The goal of a younger worker is two-fold; money to pay for tuition and living expenses, and finding something related to the area they are studying in order to gain valuable experience.

Education can serve younger workers well. Education is the biggest single variable in the success of job seekers in this economy. The February 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report noted the unemployment rate for college graduates is five percent compared to 11.9 percent for high school graduates. Younger workers should consider the cost of an education versus the potential rewards later on when it comes to employment and wages.

How does your state measure up when it comes to debt?