The dismal state of the economy has been rough on everyone, but perhaps no more so than on those between 16 and 29. Whereas the US unemployment rate currently stands at 8.3 percent, more than half of young people under 30 are out of work.

Even those with college degrees are feeling the pinch. Saddled with student loans and competing against more experienced workers, they’ve been forced to take what they can — and that usually means jobs in the service or hospitality industry.

A recent study of 4 million Facebook profiles found that, after the military, 20-somethings most often listed Walmart, Starbucks, Target and Best Buy as their employers.

Overall, an estimated one in 10 employed Americans now work in food service, and while an increasing number of laid-off, middle-aged people are turning to restaurant jobs, about two-thirds of food service workers in 2010 were under 35 years old. And compared to a decade ago, food service workers in major US cities are now about 9 percent more likely to have a college education.

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